Canada and Kyrgyzstan

About 2 weeks ago, Canada submitted this document to the recent BWC states-parties consultative meeting which contains a story which I’d never heard:

In August 2008, Canadian and Kyrgyz officials signed a legally-binding bilateral Agreement to cover construction of the new laboratory; the Treaty entered into force on 8 April 2009. The Treaty made clear that the new Facility was to be fully owned and operated by the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic after its completion. A copy of the Treaty (which was concluded in English, French, Kyrgyz and Russian) was made public at the time and is available on the Government of Canada website.


In early 2011, as the $50 million contract for construction of the facility was being finalized, the project became the target of an aggressive, sustained and completely unfounded disinformation campaign. The campaign was led by a relatively small group of protestors, who Canada assessed to have ulterior motives and to be supported and encouraged by external backers.

As a direct result of the disinformation campaign, which created intense pressure for the Kyrgyz Government, just days before construction of the new Facility was set to commence the Kyrgyz Government advised Canada that the laboratory could not be built at the agreed site. As the Facility was designed for construction on this specific plot of land – taking into account unique seismic, topographical, geological, environmental and hydrological conditions – Canada concluded that it could not be built elsewhere without substantial, lengthy and very costly modifications. As a result, in September 2011 Canada informed the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic that it was no longer in a position to move forward with the laboratory Project.

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