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Tajikistan Reacts To Uzbek Decision To Quit Power Grid

DUSHANBE -- The Tajik Foreign Ministry says Uzbekistan's decision to quit the Central Asian power grid is politically motivated, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

Foreign Ministry official Khusrav Ghoibov told RFE/RL that the ministry will not officially react to the decision by Tashkent.

He added that while it is understandable for a country to make decisions in its national interests, international law also requires a country to respect the interests of other countries.

On November 24, Uzbek Ambassador to Tajikistan Shoqosim Shoislomov said in Dushanbe that Uzbekistan will end its participation in the Soviet-era electric power grid as of December 1.

He said Uzbekistan has built a new power distribution system that can provide all of its regions with electricity and does not need the outdated electricity grid.

Homidjon Orifov, the head of Tajikistan's National Committee for Dams, said Uzbekistan's move is most likely connected to the Tajik-Uzbek standoff regarding the construction of a new hydropower station near the Tajik city of Roghun.

He said that by quitting the joint grid Uzbekistan shows its opposition to the hydropower station and added that Uzbekistan is also trying to hinder the delivery to Tajikistan of 1 billion kilowatt hours of electricity from Turkmenistan.