Further deterioration of relations can be expected in Central Asia because of water problem

Business Materials 12 September 2012 20:08 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept. 12 / Trend V.Zhavoronkova /

Central Asian countries will not be able to avoid a further deterioration of relations because of the water problem in the region, a Russian expert on the CIS Vladimir Zharikhin believes.

"It will not come to war, however, we should expect quite temperamental continuation of events and deterioration of relations," deputy director of the CIS Institute Zharikhin told Trend on Wednesday.

Uzbek President Islam Karimov said on Friday in Astana that water problems can lead to conflict in Central Asia.

Water allocation issue is one of the main reasons for the differences in the region. Uzbekistan is the most active opponent of the hydroelectric power plants construction in the region on the rivers Amu Darya and Syr Darya in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. This, according to Tashkent, will lead to serious consequences for the downstream countries.

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, speaking on Tuesday at the European Parliament, said Asia there are "serious contradictions over water" in Central Asia.

She recalled that "Brussels is closely monitoring the situation in Central Asia".

The World Bank, under whose auspices the economic and environmental assessment of the Rogun HPP in Tajikistan is held, all the time delays publication of examination results. WB demanded to suspend work on the Rogun HPP before completion of the examination.

The expert said that in this issue the parties should try to find a compromise.

"Some countries, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, have an excess of water, and a complete lack of organic resources, while others - Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan - have an excess of organic resources and a clear lack of water," the expert said.

The problem is that water is used to compensate for the lack of organic, Zharikhin said.

"It would seem that there is nothing easier sharing - water for organic resources," he said.

However, in his opinion, the problem is that organic materials on the world market have a price, while the water, which as much important resource as oil and gas, has no value.

The attempts of the parties to agree exist, but they tend to turn into indirect conflict, Zharikhin said.

He said the task of the international community in this regard is to help Central Asian countries to resolve their relationship at a time when the price for water as a resource is not yet determined.