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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kyrgyz Are Investigating Fuel Supplies to U.S. Base

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan — Kyrgyzstan's interim government said Tuesday that it had opened a criminal inquiry into firms supplying fuel to a U.S. air base.

Fuel supply contracts for the Manas base, which plays a key role in supporting the war in Afghanistan, have provoked scorn from Kyrgyzstan's new leaders, who say the family of ousted President Kurmanbek Bakiyev profited unfairly from such deals.

"A criminal case has been launched against Maxim Bakiyev," said Ulan Dykanbayev, a spokesman for the Prosecutor General's Office, referring to the former president's son.

He added that the companies in question had failed to pay customs duties on fuel they imported from Russia.

A spokesman for the interim government, Farid Niyazov, said the U.S. Senate was carrying out its own investigation, but declined to give more details.

U.S. President Barack Obama's adviser on Russia and Eurasia, who was in Bishkek on Tuesday to meet the head of interim government Roza Otunbayeva, ruled out corruption at Manas.

"I've read lots of stories about black holes and corruption and things that happened. They are not … true," Michael McFaul told reporters, adding that the United States would make public all payments it had made to Kyrgyzstan and local companies.