BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan — Back in 2005, the last time angry crowds toppled the government
the United States found itself in an awkward position: among the
rallying cries was an allegation that the ruling family had benefited
handsomely from Pentagon contracts. Now, substantially the same thing
appears to be happening again.
Senior leaders in the interim government that took power last week are
accusing the United States of allowing family members of the ousted
Bakiyev, to enrich themselves with contracts supplying jet fuel to Manas Air Base outside Bishkek, the Kyrgyz
Companies controlled by the president’s 32-year-old son, Maksim, who
became a loathed figure during the uprising, skimmed as much as $8
million a month from fuel sales to the base, according to senior leaders
in the new government, relying on a monopoly and favorable taxes.
. . .
The officials accuse the United States of having used that system to curry favor
with the ousted president in order to hold onto the air base, the only
remaining Amerian military refueling site in Central Asia after
Uzbekistan closed a base in a dispute with the United States over human
“Whatever the Pentagon’s policy of buying warlords in Afghanistan, the
state of Kyrgyzstan demands more respect,” Edil Baisalov, chief of staff
of the interim leader, Roza
, said in an interview. “The government of Kyrgyzstan will
not be bought and sold. We are above that.”
. . .
Omurbek Tekebayev, the former acting president, said in an interview
that the trading companies made money selling cheap Russian jet fuel at
world prices to the American base.
. . .