Uzbekistan, Tashkent, Nov. 1 / Trend D. Azizov /
Cargo transit to Tajikistan has not been reduced. According to official data from the Uzbek State Customs Service, the volume of cargo transit is growing steadily, the Uzbek Foreign Ministry reported.
Freight flow by railway to Tajikistan amounted to 57,192 carriages, with cargo weighing 3.94 million tons, during the first nine months of this year, or 1,780 carriages and 220.304 tons of cargo more than during the same period in 2009.
The agency added that the statistics of the the Uzbek railway company Uzbekiston Temir Yullari also indicate a growth in goods transit to Tajikistan of 102 percent in January-September compared to the same period last year.
At the same time, the agency added, several media outlets, citing Tajik officials, have spread incorrect information about the movement of cargo carriages from Tajikistan through Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan denied the so-called "rail blockade" accusations.
In their recent statements, the agency said, Tajik officials have issued statements that contradict the country's official statistics. According to these statistics, foreign trade turnover increased 3.6 percent to 2.634 trillion over the nine months of this year. Exports also increased 14 percent, while imports remained at last year's level during the same period.
As all of Tajikstan's foreign trade turnover is provided through its main trunk rail lines (Sogdi, Dushanbe and Khatlon railway sections), which are linked with Uzbekistan, the Tajik economy could not have reached these levels in the event of a blockade, the agency said.
Large-scale artificial control and train congestion in Uzbekistan is technically impossible, as the country does not have many sidings. Moreover, only such claims are capable of paralyzing the country's railways and resulting in catastrophic consequences for the Uzbek economy.
Tajik officials continue to stress delays in goods transit through Uzbekistan, which they claim is the root cause of the country's economic instability.
Meanwhile, the Uzbek Foreign Ministry has repeatedly stated that it is fulfilling its commitments on the transit of goods within existing bilateral and multilateral agreements. The ministry added that trains are sometimes delayed due to technical and logistical reasons as a result of increasing cargo shipments to Tajikistan and the need for routine repair works.
The agency confirmed its commitment and readiness to address emerging problems, and to search for mutually acceptable solutions during negotiations, adding that Tajikistan's unfounded accusations do not contribute to good neighborly and mutually beneficial ties.