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Ivan Ippolitov: Politicization of incident at Kumtor may end badly

«You need to carefully approach investigation of incident at Kumtor, and not politicize this tragedy,» Ivan Ippolitov, a Russian expert on Central Asia at StanRadar.com said, commenting on possible consequences of the incident at the largest in Kyrgyzstan Kumtor gold mine.

«Taking into account the fact that Kyrgyzstan’s long-standing unremitting public attention is riveted on the mine and еру foreign investors, it would be better to avoid manipulations in the investigation of the circumstances of the incident,» the expert stressed.

He noted that several factors could be alarming bells in investigation of the incident.

«The first is the composition of the commission, which must check all the circumstances of the incident. These people should understand the intricacies of mining, have a good knowledge of safety rules, have an independent opinion and so on. It is still difficult to say how much the commission members will meet these criteria,» Ivan Ippolitov said.

The expert mentioned the opacity of the investigation as the second point that may cause questions about the quality of the alleged check.

«It is necessary to take into account the fact that Kumtor is still the largest budget-forming enterprise in Kyrgyzstan, and the suspicion of non-transparency of the work of inspectors may cause a stir among the audience monitoring the search operations at the mine,» he explained.

The expert advises to refrain from «premature conclusions about the causes and consequences of the happened.»

«We currently need to focus on finding the missing employees of the mining complex. This is the main task,» Ivan Ippolitov stressed.

Two Kumtor employees went missing on December 1, 2019 during movement of rock dump at one of the mine’s sites. Search work is carried out by the Ministry of Emergencies of Kyrgyzstan and the rescue team of the company.

Ten days after the tragedy, members of the Parliament of Kyrgyzstan proposed to create a commission to investigate the incident at Kumtor mine.