Rahmon: Tajikistan does not claim monopoly of water resources in region
Tajikistan has consistently advocated for the efficient sharing of water resources by all countries in the region of Central Asia, Tajik leader Emomali Rahmon said in an exclusive interview with the influential Al-Masa Egyptian newspaper which is now posted on the official website of the President in the Tajik language, ITAR-TASS reported.
"Tajikistan, where 60 per cent of the water resources are formed does not claim monopoly of them, but stands for co-efficient water use by all countries of the region," Rahmon emphasised.
He believes "the management of these resources among the upper reaches of Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan, which have abundant water resources and lower reaches in countries such as Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan which have rich reserves of oil and natural gas, requires an effective economic mechanism to ensure the long term and mutually beneficial use."
According to local experts, it's the "water problem and its potential shortage" that has become one of the main reasons for Tashkent's tough opposition to erection in Tajikistan of the region's largest Rogun hydroelectric power station with a design capacity of 3600 MW. However, as preceding statements by Emomali Rahmon and his interview with the Egyptian media show, Tajikistan will not abandon construction of this super energy giant.
"We ask our neighbours to understand the situation in which Tajikistan is lacking large reserves of oil and gas and facing great challenges due to the shortage of electricity and heat in the winter," says the Tajik leader, pointing out that "the only way is construction of large hydroelectric power stations on our internal rivers."
Rahmon's emotional interview comes amid new tensions between the two neighbouring republics. The Tajik side has accused Tashkent of a transport blockade on the southern section of the railway, calling the Uzbek authorities' explanation on the need for reconstruction of the worn-out ways a "farfetched pretext" and of the refusal of a supply of natural gas from April 1 as well as a simultaneous ban on the transit of Turkmen gas through its territory.
According to government sources, due to shortage of natural gas, a number of energy-intensive industrial plants such as Tajikcement has stopped and there is a serious situation in the Tajik aluminium company, TALCO in supplying main, along with the cotton, exports of the country.