High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell met the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic, Mr Ruslan Kazakbaevin in Brussels on Tuesday. The meeting was an opportunity to discuss EU-Kyrgyz relations as well as pressing issues in the Central Asian region.
They discussed upcoming milestones in EU-Kyrgyz relations, including the finalisation of an Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (EPCA), and the preparation of the first EU-Central Asia Economic Forum, which will take place in Bishkek on 5 November. High Representative Borrell confirmed the EU’s commitment to support Kyrgyzstan in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and recalled the recent delivery of a first batch of vaccines under the COVAX facility and a support package worth EUR 43.8 million.
On Kyrgyz’s domestic political developments, High Representative Borrell called on the Kyrgyz authorities to maintain and protect an open media environment as an important enabler for free, competitive and transparent Parliamentary elections, scheduled to take place on 28 November.
On regional topics, both sides discussed developments in Afghanistan and the consequences for the security and stability in the Central Asian region. High Representative Borrell also raised the situation at the border with Tajikistan. He called on his Kyrgyz counterpart to further de-escalate the situation at the border and reiterated the EU’s offer to address the root causes of the bilateral conflict and to promote confidence-building measures.