Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic, May 18, 2021

In connection with the statement by the leadership of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development of Canada of 18 May 2021, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic notes the following.

The Kyrgyz Republic has always advocated for the creation of favorable climate for conscientious foreign investors and intends to continue to adhere to these principles.

In a different situation, we would understand the natural desire of our Canadian partners to assist their business entities in comfortably doing their business.

However, the Canadian side should be aware that for many years the management of Centerra Gold Inc. has repeatedly been pointed at numerous violations of environmental and mining technical standards.

Unfortunately, these requirements enshrined in the national legislation of the Kyrgyz Republic were not met. As a result, enormous damage to the environment was caused and people were killed which is confirmed by the conclusion of the State Commission for Studying the Efficiency of Development of the KumtorMine and the decision of the judicial authorities of the Kyrgyz Republic, including from 7 May 2021.

Taking into account the essence of the problem which is in causing irreparable damage to the environment of Kyrgyzstan including by placing more than 1 billion tons of waste on glaciers in order to reduce their transport costs, the desire of some partners to actually patronize this is bewildering.

The last illustrative example of irresponsible attitude on the part of the management of the KumtorGold Company is the shutdown of the system for tracking and monitoring the safety of the state and movement of glaciers. The company's management has left the country while the local people and the country's environment are in serious danger.

We call on our partners to refrain from statements that contribute to a one-sided perception of the situation around the Kumtor project.

The Kyrgyz side was looking for various opportunities to discuss the emerging situationincluding through the inter-parliamentary line. So farthe partners have not shown interest in discussing this issue. The Ministry also took note of the position of the Canadian side that the Government of Canada cannot influence the activities of private companies.

The Government of Kyrgyzstan expects that our partners will objectively assess the current situation and support us in restoring justice and solving the problem of preserving the environment for future generations which is also an issue on the global agenda. Otherwise, one-sided coverage of this issue may negatively affect the inflow of foreign direct investments into our country during the difficult period of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Kyrgyz side remains open to constructive dialogue with the friendly Government of Canada in order to further strengthen and deepen cooperation for the benefit of the peoples of the two countries.

We also welcome conscientious foreign investors who respect national legislation and environment to conduct honest, open and successful business in our country.