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Tajikistan Requests Documents On Borders From Russia

Tajik Foreign Minister Hamrohon Zarifi
DUSHANBE -- The Tajik foreign minister has officially asked Russian authorities to provide Dushanbe with historical documents related to borders between former Soviet republics in Central Asia.

Hamrohon Zarifi told journalists on January 17 that the documents are needed to clarify Tajikistan's borders with neighboring Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan in order to prevent problems like those experienced in Uzbekistan's Sokh district.

Sokh is an exclave surrounded on all sides by Kyrgyz territory.

On January 5-6, Sokh residents, who are mainly ethnic Tajiks, disrupted an attempt to connect electric power lines to a new Kyrgyz border post, provoking clashes with Kyrgyz authorities.

Five Sokh residents were reportedly wounded and about 30 Kyrgyz citizens were taken hostage.

All were later released.

Parts of the borders between the five Central Asian republics that were established by Soviet authorities are still disputed.