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Hydroelectric Projects Continue to Trouble Central Asian Relations

Relations between the Central Asian states located along the region’s largest rivers continue to deteriorate over proposed hydroelectric projects.

Uzbekistan in particular is concerned about eastern neighbor Tajikistan’s ambitions to construct the massive Rogun hydroelectric cascade, which Tashkent maintains will negatively affect the water flow needed by downstream states for their agriculture, UzDaily news agency reported.

Having failed to resolve the dispute in bilateral talks the Ecological Movement of Uzbekistan has made an appeal to European Parliament Chairman Jerzy Buzek. The movement’s appeal states, "MEP Struan Stevenson's ambiguous statements regarding the project for construction of the Rogun hydroelectric power station (HPS) in Tajikistan, have led us to write this letter to you. On behalf of the European Parliament, he repeatedly spoke through the Tajik media in favor of the implementation of this very controversial hydro energy project in the upper reaches of the River Amu Darya.

Due to the former Soviet regime's ill-considered policy on regulation of the natural courses of the ancient Central Asian rivers of Amu Darya and Syr Darya by constructing a number of huge hydroelectric complexes in the 1970s and the 1980s, we have witnessed the disappearance of one of the largest closed basins in the world - the Aral Sea. The history of civilization had never before seen a whole sea die before the eyes of just one generation!"

By. Charles Kennedy, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com



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