Prague, July 24 (CTK) – Czech President Milos Zeman recommended Czech Liglass Trading firm, which is to complete a cascade of hydroelectric power plants on the Naryn River, to his Kyrgyz counterpart Almazbek Atambayev during their meeting, it ensued from his interview for Czech Radio Radiozurnal on Monday.
Zeman said he mentioned the firm during his meeting with Atambayev based on data from the Industry and Trade Ministry.
In its answer to a CTK question, the ministry said deputy minister Vladimir Bartl recommended Czech firm Liglass Trading in a generally-worded letter at the request of its executive secretary Michael Smelik.
Bartl addressed the letter, in which he welcomed the Czech firm’s interest in taking part in a tender in the energy sphere, to the Kyrgyz investment promoting agency at the Economy Ministry. He did not check the firm’s financial background, the Czech ministry said.
Doubts about the firm and its ability to implement the project and to fund it have appeared in the Czech and Kyrgyz press recently, but Smelik rejected them.
Atambayev also backed the Czech investors.
In his request for recommendation Smelik sent to the Industry and Trade Ministry, he wrote that Liglass Trading CZ considers creating a joint project of Czech suppliers and investment groups.
“It (Liglass Trading) presented an acknowledgement it does not have any debts, a statement from the registry of persons and firms and a statement from the Register of Companies. In these cases, the Industry and Trade Ministry does not check the firm’s financial background because the financial structure of individual trade cases is usually formulated only after they are specified and in cooperation with other firms,” the ministry’s spokesman Frantisek Kotrba said.
He said Bartl’s letter to the Kyrgyz state agency was the only comment the ministry made on Liglass Trading CZ.
Zeman said on Monday he met Atambayev at his request during this year’s EXPO world exhibition in Astana.
“Because I always lobby for Czech firms in all these meetings, I always ask the Industry and Trade Ministry for information about which firms have some ambitions in the given country, in Kyrgyzstan in this particular case, and whether I can recommend them as trustworthy. If the Industry and Trade Ministry gives me such documents, I naturally mention the firms in talks with the given president,” Zeman said.
Asked whether he had Liglass Trading on the ministry’s list, he stressed he naturally did.
“I do not know it at all. How else do you think I could speak about it?” Zeman said.
The Kyrgyz government signed the contract with Liglass Trading in Atambayev’s presence on July 10.
According to it, Liglass Trading will build two large and dozens of small hydroelectric power plants in Kyrgyzstan.
Liglass Trading is to invest a total of 230 million dollars in the first stage. Some Czech media wrote that Zeman’s office head Vratislav Mynar lobbied for the Czech firm with his counterpart in Atambayev’s office. Mynar has confirmed this.
The Czech Industry and Trade Ministry said on Monday it supposes that the relevant Kyrgyz institutions, which were in charge of the tender, checked all potential interested entities.
“If any doubts were found, this would have been reflected in the tender results,” Kotrba said.