What stands behind the Turkmenistan’s idea on monetary compensation to Tajikistan





ASHGABAT, Oct. 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 hydroelectric plants.

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 countries.”

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 Kazakhstan.

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.