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Uzbekistan Allegedly Blocking Electricity To Tajikistan


Repair work on Tajikistan's delapidated electricity grid (file photo) (ITAR-TASS) BISHKEK, November 30, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- A Kyrgyz Foreign Ministry official today accused Uzbekistan of blocking electricity exports to power-stricken Tajikistan.


Jyldyz Sarybaeva, the deputy head of the ministry's international economic relations department, told RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service that Kyrgyzstan is due to export electricity to Tajikistan under an agreement reached earlier this year.


However, she said Tashkent has so far denied Kyrgyzstan permission to deliver the electricity through its territory.


"Under the deal, Kyrgyzstan should have started supplying electricity to Tajikistan on October 1," she said, adding that the deal envisages the export of "about 1 billion KwH of electricity to Tajikistan."


Tajikistan has been hit by severe power shortages for the past few days.


Reports say only the central areas of the capital Dushanbe and Khojand, Tajikistan's second-largest city, are receiving supplies as normal. The rest of the country is suffering from blackouts.


Tajik government officials claim the shortages are linked to the upcoming construction of a new dam of the Vakhsh River, which flows southward to the Afghan border from Kyrgyzstan.


Tajik media say the power blackouts have triggered a shortage of bread in Dushanbe and other cities.

RFE/RL Central Asia Report


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