Tajikistan urges compromise on power grid with
Tajikistan urged a compromise with Uzbekistan that announced a pullout from the Central Asian unified power grid,
which would threaten electricity supplies to neighboring states.
Uzbekistan, a transit nation in electricity supplies between energy-rich Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, said early this month it would pull out from the network as of
December 1, criticizing the grid's operations and accusing Tajikistan of bleeding off electricity.
sit down at the negotiation table with our Uzbek colleagues and find a
compromise," said Alexei Silantyev, deputy head
of Tajikistan's energy holding Barki Tochik. He criticized the withdrawal as political: "Uzbekistan is applying pressure on us as it knows that Tajikistan suffers electricity shortages in the fall and winter season."
Observers in Tajikistan said Uzbekistan frequently cut electricity supplies to pressure Dushanbe over its
project to complete the Soviet-designed giant Rogun
hydropower plant. Uzbekistan fears Tajiks will begin to take more
water from a tributary of the Amu Darya River, which
the downstream nation uses to irrigate cotton fields.
Silantyev also said Uzbekistan in effect already pulled out from the network on October 30. Uzbekistan earlier cited poor coordination between the four ex-Soviet nations
involved, resulting in accidents affecting its own energy system and triggering
instability in the region.
The country also
accused Tajikistan of siphoning off electricity from the network above the contract
amount, and was reported to have demanded fees for transiting electricity.
for a compromise, a senior Tajik Foreign Ministry official, Hisrav
Goibov, said on Wednesday he was positive "we will
find a compromise in the energy sphere."