The Republic of Kyrgyzstan recognised the Republic of Estonia in 1991 and diplomatic relations were established in 1996.
The first Estonian Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan, Jaan Hein, presented his credentials to President Roza Otunbajeva on 26 October 2011. Currently Estonia is represented by Ambassador Jaan Reinhold, who presented his credentials to the President of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev on October 29, 2014. The Ambassador resides in Astana. In 2013, the first Estonian honorary consul was appointed – Viktor Kryltsov. Kyrgyzstan has not yet accredited its representative to Estonia.
The XII Riigikogu formed an Estonian-Kyrgystan parliamentary group which was led by Kalev Lillo and comprises of 8 delegates. The XIII Riigikogu reconstituted the parliamentary group, led by Mikhail Korb. Its vice-chairman is Denis Boroditš and there are 12 members. Four members are registered in the Kyrgyzstan parliament's Baltic countries friendship group.
Over the years, the only high-level visit has been Prime Minister Andrus Ansip’s official visit to Kyrgyzstan from 12 to 13 December 2013. The Prime Minister met with the Kyrgyzstan Prime Minister Žantoro Satõbaldijev, President Almazbek Atambaev and Parliament Chairman Asõlbek Žeenbeekov. The Prime Minister opened a round table on economic matters – in which the Estonian business delegation also took part – and opened the Estonian Honorary Consulate.
There have been more bilateral meetings and communication at the level of officials. In 2003, a delegation of the Kyrgyzstan Parliament visited Estonia. On 16 May 2011, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Paet met with the Kyrgyzstani Minister of Foreign Affairs Kazakbajev in the framework of a UN conference in Rome. The ministers discussed possibilities for enlivening mutual relations and also touched upon the relations between Kyrgyzstan and the European Union.
In 2000 and 2002, Estonia organised seminars on IT solutions in the public sector for Kyrgyzstani specialists. In spring 2013, yet another study trip to Estonia took place, with the IT managers of various state agencies included in the delegation.
There are no valid agreements between Kyrgyzstan and Estonia.
Trade between Kyrgyzstan and Estonia from 2010 to 2015, thousand EUR:
Trade increased considerably in 2012 and the total turnover amounted to EUR 16 million, of which export formed EUR 16 million and import EUR 0.03 million. As a result of that, Kyrgyzstan rose to the 54th position among Estonia’s trade partners. In subsequent years, trade declined and in 2015 amounted to approximately 1 million euros, of which exports accounted for 100%. In 2015, there were no imports. Kyrgyzstan was in 99th place among export partners.
The main export articles to Kyrgyzstan in 2015 were:
- Animal and vegetable fats (sunflowe oil) - 42.7%
- Wood and wood products (particle boards) - 19.8%
- Medical and measuring equipment (medical, surgical, dental equipment) - 14.8%
According to the Bank of Estonia, Kyrgyzstan’s investments in Estonia amounted to EUR 61,000 as at 30 June 2013. Investments had been made into administrative and aid activities, wholesale and retail trade and information and communications. There are no data available about Estonian investments in Kyrgyzstan.
In previous years, Estonia has supported Kyrgyzstan water resource management related projects (most recently 2005), and also OSCE election observation missions.
Since 2013, the central Asian countries of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are also receiving more attention by development cooperation, since they are countries where Estonia’s experiences and successful reforms could be of interest. As of now, many of the launched projects have already been successfully completed, for example the Estonian Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Centre project “Support systems for small and medium-sized enterprises in Kyrgyzstan to develop entrepreneurship in Estonia and the European Union” (information portal), as well as phase I of the e-Governance Academy project, “Preparation for the implementation of the e-consul application in Kyrgystan”. Phase II has now also been completed. The Estonian School of Diplomacy has carried out the project “Training in international relations and cooperation for diplomats and officials” in Kyrgyzstan. The Estonian Ministry of Finance advised and mediated our experiences to officials of the Kyrgyzstan Ministry of Finance on various topics: state accountancy and reporting, state financial management, public sector policy, etc. This was followed up by a e-Governance Academy led project to analyse the Kyrgyzstan State Financial Management System and develop a possible reform programme based on Estonia’s experiences. In the year 2014, a number of new projects were begun, including for the furtherance of human rights awareness in Kyrgyzstan (implemented by the Estonian Institute of Human Rights), for the development of rural tourism development in Kyrgyzstan (Harju County Entrepreneurship and Development), in the area of intellectual property and technological transition (The Estonian Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Centre) and raising awareness and competence in the area of young people’s reproductive health counselling and education in Kyrgyzstan (Estonian Association of Sexual Health). In 2015, the e-Governance Academy began development of a service oriented e-service interoperability framework in Kyrgyzstan. Garage48 began a project through which to support the development of the community of start-up companies in Kyrgyzstan. Two education-oriented projects concentrate on the sphere of multilingual education in Kyrgyzstan – the aim of the University of Tartu project is to strengthen teacher training institutions in Kyrgyzstan, and the aim of Innove Foundation’s project is to support the team activity of Kyrgyzstan’s integrated subject and language training instructors and counsellors.
Kyrgyz in Estonia
According to the 2011 census, there were 20 Kyrgyz living in Estonia. There is a Kyrgyz cultural society at Maardu.
In 2012, a narration and runes of the Kyrgyz epic poem “Manas” was published in Estonian with many illustrations (author Peeter Ilus, publisher Penikoorem).
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