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Uzbekistan, Tajikistan at odds over mega-dam plan

Last Updated: Thursday, February 4, 2010 - 20:25

Tashkent: Uzbekistan on Thursday warned Tajikistan
not to move ahead with the construction of a controversial
hydro-electric dam that has severely strained relations
between the two Central Asian states.

Uzbek Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyayev, in a letter to
his Tajik counterpart, demanded an independent examination of
the possible consequences of the massive Rogun dam before
Dushanbe begins construction.
Tashkent fears the dam will damage its vital cotton
industry, which depends on water which flows in from
Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, and negatively impact the
environment of millions of Uzbeks living downstream,
Mirziyayev said.

"Uzbekistan`s fundamental position on this issue is to
move ahead with the construction of Rogun station only after a
thorough independent analysis of the project," he said in a
letter published by the official UzA news agency.

He also warned that Uzbekistan would seek the assistance
of the international community to back its position.
The letter highlights the increasingly tense relations
between the two Central Asian states, which have been at odds
on a number of issues for almost two decades since the
collapse of the Soviet Union.

The Rogun dam, which was first conceived as a gigantic
Soviet hydro-electric power project, stalled as Tajikistan
plunged into civil war in the early 1990s after the breakup of
the USSR.


First Published: Thursday, February 4, 2010 - 20:25
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