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An Chirgeastáin

An cosán trádála go réamhshocraithe

ROINN:

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Russian aggression in Ukraine, and attacks by pro–Iranian Houthis on Western ships in the Red Sea – these factors have made it difficult for Europeans to deliver and export goods and raw materials from Asia.

Ar an drochuair, is ar ghnáth-Eorpaigh a thiteann an t-ualach a bhaineann le costais bhreise iompair a mhéadú, atá buartha ag an am céanna faoi choimeád na mílte imirceach mídhleathach óna mbuiséid teaghlaigh, chomh maith leis an ardú ar chostas billí fóntais mar gheall ar ghanntanas fuinnimh.

The policy of the so-called “green transition”, which the European Commission is talking about, is stalling due to the difficulties of the new time. It turned out that the EU has to import most of the solar panels, rare earth metals and necessary electrical conductors from China.

Mar sin, conas is féidir leis an mBruiséil an cheist maidir le seachadadh agus onnmhairiú lasta tapa agus neamhchostasach a cuid earraí chuig an Áise a réiteach?

One of the relevant solutions is the route through Central Asia. This region, which used to be considered Russia’s “backyard”, is now actively positioning itself as a new regional centre with rich resources, human potential and a geopolitical position between the West and the East.

Speaking about new transport routes, there is a lot of talk in Kyrgyzstan about the “Southern Route” – an infrastructure project that will pave an alternative trade route from China to Russia, through Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan with access to the Caspian Sea and Russian ports.

Mar sin féin, tá go leor saineolaithe amhrasach faoin tionscnamh seo.

Aiseolas

Ar an gcéad dul síos, bhí an bealach ar fáil níos luaithe, ach ar roinnt cúiseanna níl éileamh air ó iompróirí.

I measc na bpríomhfhadhbanna tá an bonneagar iompair lag, an easpa seirbhíse farantóireachta rialta, an fhadhb le víosa a fháil don Tuircméanastáin, agus neamhullmhacht na gcalafort Rúiseach chun longa móra tonnáiste a fháil.

Ní féidir na saincheisteanna seo a réiteach thar oíche. Dá bhrí sin, roghnaíonn go leor daoine an bealach is giorra agus is saoire a théann tríd an gCasacstáin, fiú in ainneoin go mbíonn tranglam tráchta ó am go chéile ag an teorainn.

Ar an dara dul síos, fanann fiú tionscadail bonneagair atá fíor-riachtanach do gheilleagar na Cirgise ar pháipéar nó cuirtear i bhfeidhm iad le hiarracht den sórt sin go ndíspreagann siad infheisteoirí ionchasacha dul isteach sa tír seo i ngan fhios dóibh.

The only exception, perhaps, is China – it is strongly interested in laying new land routes, spreading a network of roads and railways throughout Eurasia as part of the mega project “One Belt– One Road”.

China does not intend to “put all its eggs in one basket” and is diversifying transport routes leading to Europe. This made it possible to easily redirect traffic flows bypassing the war-torn territory as a result of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Chuidigh an dorchla idirthurais feadh an bhealaigh Eoraip-Caucasus-Áise (TRACECA), ag dul tríd an Chasacstáin, an Asarbaiseáin, an tSeoirsia agus an Tuirc, le gach duine amach.

Nuair a thagann deireadh leis an gcogadh i Nagorno-Karabakh, éiríonn an chonair seo níos geallta fós, toisc go gceadaíonn sé naisc dhíreacha iompair idir an Asarbaiseáin agus an Tuirc.

Cá bhfuil an Chirgeastáin sa chóras seo?

Ar an drochuair, áit ar bith go fóill. Tá an bonneagar iompair anseo ag forbairt ar luas an-mhall, fiú laistigh den tír, gan trácht ar chumarsáid le comharsana.

Is leor a thabhairt chun cuimhne cad iad na fadhbanna a bhí roimh Bishkek le linn tógáil an mhórbhealaigh Thuaidh-Theas, a dearadh chun dhá ionad eacnamaíocha éagsúla na Cirgeastáine a nascadh le bealach amháin talún. Cuireadh tús leis an tógáil in 2014 agus dearadh é ar feadh cúig bliana (tá an tionscadal á chur i bhfeidhm go príomha le cistí a fuarthas ar iasacht, áit a bhfuil an príomh-iasachtóir an Eximbank Síneach). Ach fiú inniu níor cuireadh an bóthar seo i bhfeidhm, rud a chuireann díomá mór ar infheisteoirí.

Ceann de na cúiseanna a bhí leis an moill sa tógáil ná goid banal. Rinne Bárdas Bóithre agus Droichid na Síne achomharc fiú chuig póilíní na Cirgise le héileamh ar dhamáistí tar éis goid eile tarlú ag ceann de na háiseanna atá á dtógáil. An t-am seo ar fad, úsáideann iompróirí an seanbhóthar Sóivéadach, nach bhfuil mórán acmhainne ann, atá as dáta, ritheann sé feadh serpentines sléibhe agus is minic a dhúnann sé mar gheall ar dhrochchoinníollacha aimsire. Téann an mhórbhealaigh chéanna níos faide go dtí an Úisbéiceastáin. Ag an am céanna, ní raibh aon nasc iarnróid idir Bishkek agus Tashkent. Agus tá sé soiléir nuair a bheidh sé le feiceáil.

The construction of the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway, which has been talked about for a long time and persistently since 2013, was started only in the spring of 2023. According to intergovernmental agreements, it is carried out by the Chinese company “China National Machinery Imp. & Exp. Corporation». And this is another unbearable burden for the Kyrgyz state budget.

If earlier Kyrgyzstan limited its external debt to China to a threshold value of 38.3% of the total external debt, today the threshold value has been increased to 45%. For example, in 2022, Kyrgyzstan’s public debt to China amounted to 42.9% of the total external debt, which provoked heated discussions in society about total and unacceptable economic dependence on China. That is, the higher the size of Kyrgyzstan’s transport and logistics ambitions, the greater the loss of economic sovereignty. And if it is profitable for China to cut a new transport window through the Kyrgyz mountains, entangling the transit country with debt obligations, then how profitable is it for Kyrgyzstan itself? When will the long-awaited financial return come, given the “snail’s pace” with which any infrastructure projects are being implemented here?

Already, the construction of the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway is behind schedule. Delays are associated with technical difficulties and high cost. To build a railway line, it will be necessary to break through more than 90 tunnels through the mountains. But even a highway could not be built here in 10 years. How long it will take to lay steel highways is anyone’s guess. Meanwhile, debts continue to accumulate and payments on them are already eating up a considerable part of the Kyrgyz budget. In 2023, for example, servicing the national debt cost 22.1 billion soms. This is five billion more than budgeted for social benefits! Needless to say, it is becoming increasingly difficult for Kyrgyzstan to attract borrowed funds for adventurous initiatives that threaten default. Same Russia, for example, withdrew from the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway construction project, despite having previously been a member of the working group. But this is an important part of the very “Southern Corridor”.

 An gciallaíonn sé seo nach gcreideann Moscó ina todhchaí?

Tá an poitéinseal go sroichfidh Conair an Deiscirt an Eoraip, mar shampla, thar a bheith amhrasach, ós rud é go bhfuil bealaí iompair eile níos giorra agus go bhfuil siad ag forbairt ar bhealach níos gníomhaí, ag sárú na Cirgeastáin le blianta fada. Chun an Meánoirthear a bhaint amach, tá bealach eile Thuaidh-Theas ag an Rúis, a chlúdaíonn an Iaráin, an India agus roinnt stát in aice láimhe.

That is, in fact, the “Southern Corridor”, which has been talked about so often lately, is so far nothing more than a mirage in the desert.

Inmhianaithe, ach nach féidir a bhaint amach. Is cinnte go mbeidh an bealach seo úsáideach le haghaidh naisc iompair idir an Chirgeastáin agus an Úisbéiceastáin agus beifear in ann díluchtú ag teorainn na Casaicis-na Cirgise. Ach an mbeidh sé in ann stádas dorchla iompair idirnáisiúnta a éileamh faoi chuimsiú Bhóthar an tSíoda?

This is a big question. Moreover, it is not only a matter of money, but also of time. In turn, as a European, we need to make decisions already “here and now”.

Comhroinn an t-alt seo:

Foilsíonn Tuairisceoir an AE ailt ó fhoinsí éagsúla seachtracha a chuireann raon leathan dearcthaí in iúl. Ní gá gur seasaimh Tuairisceoir an AE iad na seasaimh a ghlactar sna hairteagail seo.

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