The Pentagon has awarded a fuel contract worth over $300 million to supply its Manas air base in Kyrgyzstan to a corporation that is currently under investigation by the US Congress.
The company won't disclose its ownership, but there's speculation the family of ousted Kyrgyz President Bakiyev might be involved.
The Director of the Center on Peace and Liberty at the Independent Institute, Ivan Eland, considers a possibility that the US has turned a blind eye to corrupt deals to keep its air base in Kyrgyzstan operating.
“The US has in the past cut deals for the bases, and lucrative contracts go to the country involved. The CIA could be involved; there could be a lot of things going on. The investigation report apparently is going to say there are no wrongdoings. But this is a very suspicious contract, because it was single sources, there was no competition, the company has beat out more established fuel providers,” Eland told RT.
Steve Levine, a contributing editor at Foreign Policy magazine, says the situation is compromising the Pentagon, however if the Kyrgyz government officially complains, it the contract may then be changed.
“These companies came out of nowhere and grabbed contracts that for the last several years have earned them 3 billion dollars and now an additional 350 million dollars,” said Levine. “It’s not clear who really owns them, it’s not clear who works there, who benefits from the contracts, who they are linked to. The allegations are to the former government – incidentally the same firms during the regime of Askar Akayev were linked to that family.”