The Kyrgyz Republic 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 Otunbayeva on 26 October 2011. The current Estonian Ambassador Heiti Mäemees presented his credentials to President Sooronbay Jeenbekov on 24 May 2018. The Ambassador resides in Nur-Sultan (former Astana). In 2013, Viktor Kryltsov was appointed as the first Estonian honorary consul. The mission of the first Ambassador of Kyrgyzstan to Estonia, Kubanychbek Omuraliev (residing in Minsk), terminated in April and the current chargé d'affaires is Aymjan Kulukeeva.
Over the years, the only high-level visit has been Prime Minister Andrus Ansip’s official visit to Kyrgyzstan, 12-13 December 2013. The Prime Minister met with the Kyrgyzstan Prime Minister Zhantoro Satybaldiyev, President Almazbek Atambaev and Chairman of the Parliament Asylbek Zheenbeekov. The Prime Minister opened a roundtable on economic matters – in which the Estonian business delegation also took part – and opened the Estonian Honorary Consulate.
There has been a greater number of bilateral meetings both at the high level and between officials. In September 2015, Minister of Foreign Affairs Marina Kaljurand met with the Kyrgyz Minister of Foreign Affairs Erlan Abdyldaev within the framework of the UN General Assembly. In March 2017, the Kyrgyz Minister of Education visited Estonia and in April 2017, Foreign Minister Abdyldaev visited Estonia. Prime Ministers Jüri Ratas and Sapar Isakov met within the framework of the Davos Economic Forum in January 2018. In September 2018, Foreign Ministers Mikser and Abdyldaev met within the framework of the UN General Assembly. In December 2018, Foreign Minister Mikser met with Foreign Minister Chingiz Aidarbekov within the framework of the OSCE Ministerial Council.
In November 2018, the first ever political consultations between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Estonia and Kyrgyzstan took place in Bishkek. The Estonian delegation was led by Lembit Uibo, Director General of the Political Department, who also met with Foreign Minister Aidarbekov.
There has also been active interaction between parliamentary deputies. Estonian-Kyrgyz parliamentary groups were formed in the XII and XIII Riigikogu. Five members led by Dinara Isaeva are registered in the Kyrgyzstan Parliament's Baltic countries friendship group. Parliamentary deputies and leaders of the Estonian-Kyrgyz parliamentary group Mihhail Korb and Deniss Boroditš visited Bishkek in July 2015. The Kyrgyz parliamentary group led by Dinara Isaeva visited Estonia in June 2016.
In October 2018, the Speaker of the Kyrgyz Parliament Dastanbek Dzhumabekov visited Estonia and held meetings with the speaker of the Estonian Parliament Eiki Nestor and Prime Minister Jüri Ratas.
One bilateral agreement has entered into force:
- Agreement on Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income (entered into force on 10 April 2017)
Estonia-Kyrgyzstan trade 2014-2018 (in thousand EUR):
In 2018, the trade turnover between the two countries amount to slightly over one million euros, which placed Kyrgyzstan as Estonia's 105th trade partner. Kyrgyzstan held 105th place also among export partners and 86th place among import partners.
The main export articles in 2018:
- Transport equipment - 47%
- Medical and measuring appliances - 16%
- Machinery and mechanical appliances - 16%
Main import articles in 2018:
- Machinery and mechanical appliances - 42%
- Precious metals - 31%
According to the Bank of Estonia, Kyrgyzstan’s investments in Estonia amounted to 50 000 EUR as of 30 September 2018. Investments had been made into wholesale and retail trade, transport and storage, information and communications, real estate and administrative and support activities.
Estonia does not hold any direct investments to Kyrgyzstan.
According to the Estonian Business Register, there were 5 companies with Kyrgyz shareholders registered in Estonia as of May 2018.
As of 20.02.2019 there was one e-resident of Kyrgyz citizenship.
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, the narration with many illustrations and runes of the Kyrgyz epic poem “Manas” was published in Estonian (compiled by Peeter Ilus, publisher Penikoorem).
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