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Kazakhstan refuses to apply uniform tariff for Kyrgyzstan

Kazakhstan refused to apply a uniform railway tariff for Kyrgyzstan. Although, the conditions were different before the signing of the treaty on Kyrgyzstan's accession to the EEU, Vice Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan Oleg Pankratov said today at a press conference.

The official acknowledged that Kyrgyzstan has requested a transitional period for the application of unified railway tariffs. However, it was about not using the EEU tariff scale domestically.

Internal tariff for railway transportation is lower. If Kyrgyzstan immediately agreed to the application of union's norms, the rates would have been raised. In this case, costs for coal transportation, cement, sugar beet would increase, that would negatively impact on the country’s economy.

«So we decided to take a transition period of 24 months. The initiative was formed as a transitional period for Kyrgyzstan. This meant that we apply own tariff in the country, and outside — tariff of the EEU. During the negotiations, our partners understood this. However, after the agreement entered into force, Kazakhstan has started to apply the transitional period. That is within the country we apply a low rate, but can’t apply a uniform rate outside the country," Oleg Pankratov said.

The Vice Premier noted that there was no appreciation of the tariff. We just couldn’t apply the reduced tariffs for railway transportation. For the first time, businessmen complained about the issue in November 2015. At the same time, work on the abolition of the transitional period began. However, it was impossible to amend the agreement on the EEU. Eurasian Economic Commission recommended Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan to sign a bilateral agreement.

Work on the agreement was carried out for a long time. It was difficult. Kazakhstan didn’t want to apply a uniform tariff, because in this case, its profits from transport companies would decrease.

Oleg Pankratov

«In addition, Kazakhstan is trying to link the tariff agreement with other agreements. They wanted to get preferences for trade with us. But we insisted that the agreement on the tariff should be signed without it. As a result, we have managed to reach an agreement," Oleg Pankratov concluded.