President of the Kyrgyz Republic Sooronbay Zheenbekov today, July 25, gave an interview to "Birinchi Radio" of the Public Broadcasting Corporation of the Kyrgyz Republic.
Below are the answers of the Head of State to the questions of "Birinchi radio":
- Dear Mr. President, the issue of stabilizing the epidemiological situation in the country is under your personal control. In what direction should the Government strengthen its work?
- The republican headquarters works around the clock. I am constantly in touch with Kubatbek Boronov and other responsible officials. The government has to work in difficult times, so I would like to emphasize once again that now is the time to help the government.
I also talk every day about criticism, discontent in society. Starting with the Prime Minister, all heads of the relevant state bodies have detailed information. Because now all the existing shortcomings are openly written and talked about on social networks. Send requests.
Now one of the main tasks is to provide citizens with medicines. Secondly, there is the question of preparing for the winter, for the new school year. Corresponding work is also being carried out here.
Also, we are all very concerned about the provision of protection against infection of people living in villages and regions, the adoption of preventive measures there.
There are questions about the state's provision of sufficient assistance and drug provision to sick citizens. We are strengthening our work in this direction.
One of the most discussed issues among the population is the transparency of the use of financial and humanitarian aid coming from abroad, the provision of complete information to the population on this issue. I also spoke about this to the heads of the regions and state bodies.
People should know up to a meter, up to a kilogram where humanitarian aid is sent, work is underway on this matter. The flow of information improves. There are some points, for example, regarding the acquired ambulances under the World Bank grant. Opinions were expressed about their inflated cost. The need to ensure transparency in tenders is discussed.
Whatever the difficulties, we must not forget about other industries. Among them, it is necessary to pay great attention to the economy.
Projects started earlier will not be suspended, all work in these areas will be implemented and monitored. Repair and construction of roads, support for export-oriented enterprises, job creation, irrigation, providing the population with clean water, digitalization, regional development issues, supporting the country's potential for the production of medicines and medical products, supporting pharmaceutical companies. A lot of work. Everything's under control. We have not forgotten, we are working on it.
At the same time I call on all compatriots.
I spoke about this earlier and will now repeat myself. Let's not break the simple rules demanded by doctors, dear compatriots. Discipline and unity are now more important than ever. Only then will we be able to defeat this disease.
If we do not violate and adhere to simple medical requirements, the rapid spread of the virus will also decrease. Each of us must be responsible for ourselves. On the part of the state, all obligations will be fulfilled.
- The global pandemic had a negative impact and led to a budget deficit in the country's economy. Funds were received from foreign partner countries and international financial organizations. As you know, external debt is also a burden for the state budget. We know that negotiations were held at the level of heads of state to liquidate and extend the repayment of the external debt. What results have we arrived at now?
- Such negotiations were held before the pandemic. And, of course, they did not stop, we continue them.
The state must pay off the debts received earlier. It's time to pay off debts taken 5, 10, 15-20 years ago. The terms and heavy loans for a period of 5 years came up. We are constantly negotiating their prolongation.
Our partners are in our position, understand the current situation and note their readiness to provide assistance to Kyrgyzstan. In February, I myself began to conduct telephone conversations with all financial institutions, with the leaders of the respective states. We see the results of this.
For example, in June a Memorandum was signed on the postponement of external debt service from Paris Club creditors.
In addition, we have reached agreements with China, members of the Paris Club - Germany, France, Denmark, Korea, Japan, the Saudi Development Fund and the Kuwait Economic Development Fund - on the temporary suspension of external debt servicing. Thanks to them too, having understood the situation correctly, they supported us.
We also agreed to temporarily suspend external debt servicing within the G20 - the 20 largest countries.
In addition, we propose to use the mechanism of “eliminating debt through efforts to improve the environment”. Work in this direction also continues. If this issue is resolved, we will benefit from two sides: first, we will get rid of debts, and second, we will solve environmental issues at our own expense.
It would be good for our state if this was resolved. We will raise this issue at all international forums and platforms.
We are changing our credit policy. We stop taking short-term loans for 5 years. There is a lot of circulating money in the world. And we need to ease the burden of external debt. Therefore, we prefer to receive soft loans, and especially grants. We are working in this direction.
They, first of all, will be aimed at the implementation of projects that are critical for the health of our population, these are projects for clean water and the construction and rehabilitation of irrigation systems, which will create new jobs. There are other facilities now. We will direct funds to support export-oriented enterprises, create jobs, build new factories, in particular, we attract funds to the regions - we exempt entrepreneurs, new factories and plants from taxes.
- At present, civil society and the media sphere are waiting for your position on the draft law on information manipulation. Two weeks ago, your Office reported that this bill was submitted for your consideration. During this time, you got acquainted with the draft law and made a final decision?
- Of course, I followed the discussion of this bill both in parliament and outside it, on social networks.
There are both supporters of the project and its opponents.
My position is that such a law is needed in our country.
This is necessary, above all, to protect human rights and human health, which we are all talking about. We need to protect people from slander and so-called fake information.
And world practice shows the same.
Some developed countries are also fighting against fakes. Laws are passed. This issue is also raised in developed countries.
It should be so with us too.
I would like to note the work of the deputies Gulshat Asylbaeva, Ainura Osmonova, the deputies led by the speaker of the parliament, who initiated this bill without fear of criticism from civil society and the media.
During the discussion of this law, we all became convinced that there is a problem in our society associated with fake information.
We saw that the law was needed when there was debate inside and outside the walls of parliament.
In the context of a pandemic, unfortunately, there was no broad discussion.
Another question is how deeply this bill was discussed and finalized.
But, in general, I support the basic philosophy of those who initiated this law and those who support it - the need to combat fake information.
I have received many hits.
As I mentioned above, there are two parties, one of which is asking me to sign the law, and the other is asking me to veto it.
I have read the arguments of both sides.
Summarizing, I will say that we need such a law. But it still needs to be worked on.
Therefore, I intend, relying on my constitutional right, to return this law for revision.
But I propose to finalize it with the participation of representatives of the media sphere, deputies, my staff, representatives of the relevant ministries.
I would especially like to emphasize that we need a law that does not restrict freedom of speech, but that allows us to resist fakes and false information.
I have spoken about this before, and now I want to repeat it. We have an open society. Anyone can use social networks to express their concerns. In my presidential practice, there are many such examples. Thanks to such appeals, some citizens received assistance, some returned to their posts, or, on the contrary, were removed from their posts on the basis of citizens' appeals.
But these messages came from our real, not fake citizens who are not hiding behind fictitious names.
There is no danger here. If these messages do not offend someone, do not offend someone's honor or dignity, if they do not contain illegal appeals, then on the contrary they even help me and government agencies.
Informing about pressing problems on the ground is a great help for us to be aware of and to promote work, I may also not know about something, and this will help us to restore the confidence of citizens in government. I am interested in this and support those who speak openly about problems without hiding their faces.
At the same time, there should be a law directed against false information that violates the rights of our citizens, harms their health and insults their honor and dignity. This should become commonplace in a country like Kyrgyzstan that respects human rights.
- You recently met with volunteers. The development of the volunteer movement in the country was assessed as a result of the weak activity of state structures. How would you rate the volunteer movement?
- The volunteer movement always revives, as you remember, when people find themselves in a difficult situation. Let us recall the Osh tragedy, the tragedy in Dacha-Suu. And now people are uniting in the face of new trouble.
This is a natural phenomenon.
There are those who provide help in public. There are also those who prefer to help silently, without publicity.
Volunteers are a great force. We all see it. Especially during a pandemic.
But so far it has a spontaneous character in our country.
At present, a storm of sharp criticism falls on the state power. It is not excluded that in this regard, the volunteer movement is considered a manifestation of the weakness of state bodies.
Yes, I say that the work of state bodies cannot be called ideal, there are shortcomings that need to be corrected.
Nevertheless, I have a positive attitude towards this phenomenon.
I have said this before, and I want to repeat it again. There are many among our people who prefer to give rather than take.
This is the first thing.
Secondly, this is the world experience.
We know that in many developed countries, volunteers actively work not only during difficult situations, but also in everyday life. They collect garbage, taking care of the purity of nature. Take care of the elderly. Take care of animals. In short, having volunteers influencing all areas of life is an indicator of the maturity of a society.
We also have our compatriots abroad who help their relatives, villages, regions and institutions.
And, as I said, this phenomenon remains spontaneous in our country.
During the meeting, the guys asked to determine the status of volunteers within the framework of the law. I think it will be good if parliament works on this in the future. This is the right task. I also support. We need to do this with a regulatory document.
This is the reality of today. The state power can count on such a powerful force and movement to implement various projects. We had the opportunity to verify this. It is only necessary to give them the right direction and improve the coordination of their activities. This has already been proposed to the Government and the republican headquarters. Work is underway on this.
- Sooronbai Sharipovich, in continuation of this topic, I would like to ask a question that was discussed on social networks. Opinions were expressed as to why Baktygul Zheenbekova, the President's daughter, who recently graduated from the medical faculty, does not help treat people. There is practically no information about your family. Taking this opportunity, I would like to ask a question of our radio listeners: do your relatives provide any help to the people?
- I would like to make a clarification about my daughter. She graduated from the financial department of KRSU. She is not a medic. She recently had a second son and is now at home with her children.
For many years my wife has been doing charity work whenever possible. However, those who receive do not know that it helps. It operates on the principle: "Your left hand should not know what your right hand is giving." She will continue to do charity work to the best of our family's ability.
My daughter is busy with her family. Together with their spouse, since April, when the pandemic began, they have been providing all possible assistance in providing food and medicine to our doctors who need people.
Daughters take special care of their parents. She is very worried about me, limits herself in many ways so that it does not go to harm. And he conducts charity activities without advertising, without publicity. I think she will continue it.
- Some countries have declared the Day of National Mourning in memory of their citizens who died due to illness. And in our country, unfortunately, there are compatriots who have fallen victim to an insidious infection ...
- Yes, I've already thought about it. I didn’t want to speak ahead of time, but since the speech has come, I consider it necessary to give information. We will celebrate Kurman Ait on July 31st.
And July 30 will be declared the Day of National Mourning throughout the country. A corresponding decree will be issued.
Once again I express my deepest condolences to the families of my compatriots who died.
The difficulties and irreparable losses of every Kyrgyz citizen echo in my heart.
I would like to wish endurance to all my compatriots who have experienced loss. May the earth rest in peace for all the dead. May the Almighty protect our beloved Kyrgyzstan!
- May your words come true, may our state overcome difficulties. Dear President, we express our gratitude for your time and answers to questions about the current situation.
- Thank you very much too, be healthy, I wish you success.