Kyrgyzstan participates in numerous PfP exercises. The Kyrgyz Government has identified a number of units as available for NATO/PfP operations and training exercises. Participation requires a government decision in each individual case. The units include an infantry company, a special National Guards platoon for counter-terrorism and peacekeeping training, and a border guard company.
NATO and the Kyrgyzstan are also developing an agreement on the transit of surface (rail and road) cargo for ISAF across Kyrgyz territory.
Defence and security sector reform
In consultation with the NATO Allies, Kyrgyzstan is in the process of reforming its armed forces. The PARP, which Kyrgyzstan joined in 2007, has the potential to further assist the government in developing reform plans and activities. These reforms should also enhance Kyrgyzstan’s ability to take part in peacekeeping operations alongside NATO forces.
Kyrgyzstan is working to enhance its mountain search and rescue capabilities, and its military command and control structures. Military education plays a role in these processes and cooperation in this area covers a wide range of areas, including language training, search and rescue education and training, border security and control, and the law of armed conflicts and human rights.
Kyrgyzstan also participates in a NATO-supported retraining programme for released military personnel. The goal of the programme is to cushion the socio-economic consequences of the country’s restructuring armed forces by facilitating the re-entry of former military personnel into the civilian job market.
Civil emergency planning
Civil emergency planning is a key area of cooperation for Kyrgyzstan. With the Allies, the country is working to improve its effectiveness in responding to natural disasters and emergency situations. Kyrgyzstan is particularly interested in relevant scientific and technical cooperation and the mechanisms available through the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC).
Kyrgyzstan has sent experts to relevant seminars at the NATO School in Oberammergau, as well as to relevant discussions at NATO Headquarters.
Science and environment
Scientists from Kyrgyzstan have received grant awards in a range of subject areas under NATO’s Science for Peace and Security (SPS) programme.
Scientists from Kyrgyzstan, alongside experts from Belgium, Russia and the Slovak Republic, are working on a project to prevent landslide dam disasters in the Tien Shan, a mountainous region in the Kyrgyz Republic prone to major earthquakes and vulnerable to landslides.
In addition, scientists from the Kyrgyz Republic, United Kingdom, Italy and Uzbekistan have been working together on a project aimed at increasing geo-environmental security in the region of Toktogul Hydroelectric Power Station. Scientists from the Kyrgyz Republic have also been looking at ways to manage uranium industry wastes in order to prevent adverse effects on the health of local populations and the environment.
Kyrgyzstan also participates in the Virtual Silk Highway project, which aims to increase internet access for academic and research communities in countries of the Caucasus and Central Asia through a satellite-based network.
In September 2008, participants from Kyrgyzstan attended an advanced training course on the concept and parameters of the use of force in countering terrorism. In May 2010, scientists and engineers from Kyrgyzstan, as well as other countries from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) region, took part in a NATO science programme designed to train participants in securing cyber networks. The primary goal of the training was to strengthen the cyber networks of the educational and scientific communities in the CIS region. In total, scientists and experts from the Kyrgyz Republic have had leading roles in 49 activities under the SPS programme.
Kyrgyzstan and NATO continue working together to increase public understanding of NATO and the benefits of cooperation. This is done through different strands of activities, including visits to NATO Headquarters, international workshops in Kyrgyzstan, and video conferences between NATO and Kyrgyz academic institutions.
Work is ongoing to build and enhance networks with universities, non-governmental organisations, and the press and media in order to increase awareness of the Alliance and Euro-Atlantic security issues in general. To this end, Kyrgyzstan hosted the EAPC youth forum in Bishkek in November 2007.
NATO supports educational activities relevant to security and defence issues and is working with Kyrgyzstan to increase public access to NATO and security-related documents. To this end, NATO and Kyrgyzstan opened a NATO Depository Library at the Diplomatic Academy in Bishkek in February 2009.
In every partner country an embassy of one of the NATO member states serves as a contact point and operates as a channel for disseminating information about the role and policies of the Alliance. The current NATO Contact Point Embassy in Kyrgyzstan is the embassy of Germany.