What stands behind the Turkmenistan’s idea on monetary
compensation to Tajikistan
13 (Centrasia.ru) -- What stands behind the proposal
of President of Turkmenistan on monetary compensation to Tajikistan to address energy problems? Turkmen President called Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to pay the monetary compensation in order to tackle energy problems
in exchange for keeping the current amount of runoff from transboundary rivers. Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov noted
that Tajikistan is the territory where the main sources of drinking water originate
in the post-Soviet Central Asian countries. While experiencing an acute
shortage of electricity Tajikistan sees the solution to this problem in construction of new
In turn, this may reduce the amount of spillway and lead to acute water
shortages in downstream countries. Therefore Turkmenistan urged Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan to find a collective solution to this problem. If the decision is
adopted, Tajikistan will receive subsidies from its neighbors to solve the energy
problems, while the neighbouring states will receive
enough drinking water and water for irrigation.
Ashurboy Imomov, a
well-known lawyer in Tajikistan believes that this is a proposal of a mature politician. There were
precedents in world practice, when upstream countries compensated any damages,
possible accidents and natural disasters to downstream countries.
Aidarbek Obozov, Doctor of
Technical Sciences in Kyrgyzstan holds the same opinion. According to the expert, there are a lot of
hydropower facilities which store a large quantity of water supply in Kyrgyzstan.
“In some cases,
due to the fact that these dams are located in seismically active zones, and these dams are not repaired for a long time the
risks of potential environmental disasters rise. It would be fair of the
neighboring countries helped to maintain these facilities in good shape,” Obozov said in the interview to Asia Plus.
According to Obozov, concerns related to the safety
of these facilities have solid grounds. Example of it,
is the latest accident at Sayan-Shushen hydroelectric
station. “Hydroelectric stations in Kyrgyzstan also remain in relatively poor condition. They have been exploited
for many years and good enough repairs were not performed. Therefore, the
danger of possible accidents is not excluded.”
Other experts disagreed with Berdymukhammedov’s
initiative. According to Zulfikor Ismoilov, an economic observer: “The proposal of the
president can be understood as if Tajikistan did not have to build any large hydroelectric
power stations, because Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan can provide electricity during winter.
Thus, it is perceived as a simple offer to abandon the development of
hydropower. As Zulfikor Ismoilov
noted, this is the main reason why the government of Tajikistan did not rush to respond to the proposal of the Turkmen leader. He
also considers the declaration of the Turkmen leader as “a condition, rather
than a proposal.” Also, Ismoilov believes that
the refusal to develop hydropower is inappropriate. “If large and small
hydroelectric power stations are built in Tajikistan, they can produce more than 700 billion kilowatt hours of
electricity. This amount is enough for the whole Central Asia and other foreign
Ismoilov emphasized that energy projects in Tajikistan are less disruptive to the environment in contrast to the thermal
power plant construction in the territory of Uzbekistan and
Professor Abdulhamid Kayumov
states that, - “ecological expertise in Roghun verified
that Tajikistan’s reservoirs cannot cause severe damage to the environment due to
the terrain and topography.
Professor Kholnazar Mukhabattov
states that while politicians argue about the water reserves, these reserves
are reduced quickly and soon Tajikistan itself will face water shortages.