Tajikistan is the only country in the region that has cloudless relations with all the major powers that can influence events in Central Asia - Russia, the United States, China and Iran. The authorities of the republic did not allow the transition of partnerships to the level of excessiveness, when the interaction is transformed into a relationship of younger and older brother with all the negative consequences that follow from this. That is, they did not allow what happened in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan in 2005.
Analyzing the events in the region, we must, first of all, speak from the perspective of the processes of national consolidation, democratization, and building a civil society. All five Central Asian countries treat these issues differently. Kazakhstan has a special success, which, along with the democratization of society, chose civil nationalism for itself. According to the chairman of the Executive Committee of the National Association of Political Scientists of Tajikistan Abdugani Mamadazimov, “this is a very good trend when the country does not speak“ Kazakhs ”, but say“ Kazakhstanis ”, that is, in this capacious concept they mean all citizens regardless of their nationality. Therefore, they are developing so rapidly the processes of national identification and consolidation. Of course, the enormous reserves of energy carriers, oil and gas, are of great help, therefore Kazakhstan for 2006 has become a leader. The republic has the nearest plans to become one of the 50 most developed countries in the world and in 2008 to take over the chairmanship in the OSCE. ”
There are prerequisites that this year Tajikistan may have very fruitful relations with Kazakhstan in the implementation of certain economic projects. In 2006, Kazkommertsbank, TuranAlambank, Kazakh Development Bank, Kazakhmineralinvest came to Tajikistan, and even if these efforts are still exploratory, they can give a positive result. There is reason to believe that in 2007, Kazakh-Tajik relations will receive a new impetus. This benefits Tajikistan, the more real investors there are, the greater the room for maneuvering for Tajikistan, the more hope that large projects will be implemented.
“The fast-growing economy of Kazakhstan creates opportunities for work for many labor migrants. And if part of the flow of guest workers will be reoriented from the Russian direction to Kazakhstan, it will be good. In Moscow, there are always some problems, many in some perplexity, in a panic about what will happen in Russia after January 15, when the new rules of trade come into effect. It is difficult to say how this will affect Tajik labor migrants. We have become accustomed to the fact that any innovations first hit the person, and then they will work for the benefit of the person. It is always good to have some kind of additional corridor, the possibility of using labor resources for Tajikistan, ”said independent expert Rashid Abdullayev.
In Turkmenistan, after the death of Saparmurad Niyazov, a new socio-political situation is being created. Five people are already registered in the CEC, as candidates for the presidency. There is an obvious favorite - Kurmanbek Bekmuradov, however, the opposition will also struggle for power in the country. Iran, Russia and the United States will try to influence the future election of a new leader, so that later it will be easier to create favorable situations through supporters or sympathizers for themselves.
No one knows exactly how much gas Turkmenistan is able to export. Estimates of gas resources vary in the range of 3 to 6 trillion. m 3 In 2003, Niyazov signed an agreement with Gazprom for a period of 25 years to transport gas through Russia to Ukraine and to Europe. Therefore, Russia is vitally interested in ensuring that the political and economic situation in Turkmenistan in the coming months, or even years, remains stable. For Tajikistan, Turkmenistan has always been a good partner in the region, expert Abdullayev believes.
“We should not forget that during the years of civil confrontation in Tajikistan, many Tajiks found refuge in Turkmenistan and lived there as refugees. The authorities of Turkmenistan then did everything possible to ensure that Tajik refugees did not feel like strangers in this country, their attitude towards them was very good. The most important rounds of inter-Tajik talks were held in Turkmenistan. Turkmenistan was one of the guarantors of the world in Tajikistan. In addition, this country, taking into account the difficult conditions of existence of the republic in the 90s, forgave many Tajik debts. There has never been a conflict between the two countries. From this point of view, the death of Turkmenbashi is, of course, a great loss for Tajikistan. Under these conditions, the republic can only hope that the course that Niyazov pursued in relation to Tajikistan will be continued by his successors.
For Uzbekistan, a big omission is the fact that official Tashkent does not include Islam in national integration. In this regard, Abdugani Mamadazimov believes that Uzbeks and Tajiks have a strong religious identity, and this fact cannot be discounted. The authorities of the republic want to repel this integral component of the public consciousness, therefore, such cataclysms occur in the country. A radical approach to Islam leads to not very good events that we see in Uzbekistan. Nevertheless, the country's economy is developing very well, especially in cotton growing, they are very successful. But still, painful issues for Uzbekistan remain the process of democratization of society, national consolidation, including the religious component there.
According to him, unused resources still exist in relations between Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. There are anti-constitutional forces of Tajikistan on the territory of Uzbekistan headed by the notorious colonel Mahmoud Khudoyberdiyev, this is the same fly in the ointment, which darkens the interaction between the two countries. These forces impede full-scale improvement in relationships. The visa regime is still maintained, despite the fact that for a year now, as Uzbekistan has been a member of the EurAsEC, there have been attempts to involve Uzbekistan in the CSTO. It seems that the direct flight Dushanbe-Tashkent will not open soon. We must wait for a breakthrough, only in the case of the visit of Emomali Rakhmonov to Tashkent, or vice versa, Islam Karimov in Dushanbe. In the meantime, Tajikistan has agreed to import Uzbek electricity at the beginning of the year. An intergovernmental agreement on the supply of electricity from Uzbekistan to Tajikistan was signed on the eve of the New Year. From January to the end of March 2007, Tajikistan imports about 600 million kW / h of Uzbek electricity. In turn, Tajikistan is committed to returning 900 million kW / h to Uzbekistan in summer 2007. As for the prices for Uzbek electricity, they will remain at the same level as last year, i.e. import price will be 1.5 cents, and export 1 cent per kilowatt. But from the new year Tajikistan will buy “blue fuel” from neighboring Uzbekistan at almost twice the price, $ 100 instead of the previous 55 per 1,000 cubic meters. Abdugani Mamadazimov believes that it would be useful for Tajikistan and Uzbekistan to start cooperation in the field of agriculture.
- It's about cotton growing. Every year Uzbekistan increases the collection of cotton, more than 3.5 million tons. collected only in 2006, and we have collected just over half a million tons. In Tashkent, even held the International Cotton Fair and all sold out, despite restrictions from the European Union. We need an exchange of experience, new information, otherwise tomorrow we will have nothing to be proud of. It's time to have a constructive dialogue. If we see only opponents in each other’s face, this will only increase alienation.
In Kyrgyzstan, on the contrary, we are seeing very good progress in the democratization of society, but this process has so rapidly gone forward that it broke away from the process of national consolidation. Kyrgyzstan 2006 reminds Tajikistan of the mid-90s. We note one feature that the opposition leaders in Kyrgyzstan have money and property. Despite all the claims to the authorities, they do not go to the end, because they understand perfectly well that chaotic events can lead to the loss of all property. Kyrgyzstan is of interest to Tajikistan by the fact that if two poor countries unite, they can be a very powerful force. Both countries have a huge stock of water resources. The upper reaches of the water are Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, the lower reaches are Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. The upper reaches in the conditions of a scarce oil and gas reserve are interested in developing hydropower, the lower reaches have an interest in the irrigation use of water resources, from which we have contradictions in regional development. Recently, Afghanistan has been included in this discussion. The post-conflict recovery of Afghanistan requires greater development of new lands and the transition from drug-containing crops to the cultivation of traditional agricultural ones. The construction of the Dashti-Jum hydroelectric power station will make it possible to develop more than 1 million hectares. a land on which more than five million people can work. This was discussed by the participants of the International Conference held in the Tajik capital in December. According to the doctor of historical sciences, professor of the Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University, Alexander Knyazev, Afghanistan for 5 years of the presence of international forces there has not ceased to be a source of threats to the security of Central Asia and a number of neighboring countries. We must publicly acknowledge the fact that the Americans have suffered a complete fiasco there and those countries that are interested in appeasing it should solve the problems of Afghanistan. Because for countries outside of Central Asia, the Afghan problem may be the reason for political and geopolitical games. For Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and beyond Russia, who feel the threat of drugs is an important need to solve these problems. There are organizations of a regional nature that should take the decision of the Afghan problems into their own hands.
In the meantime, only neighboring Tajikistan is most actively helping Afghanistan in the Central Asian region. The republic provides several Afghan provinces with electricity. But Russia seems to have completely lost its position in Kabul. Says the head of the sector of Afghanistan at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Professor Victor Korgun: “In Afghanistan, Russia acts as an outsider. Russia was too carried away by large geostrategic tasks on a global scale. This is a legacy from the time of Yeltsin, the first years of the new post-Soviet Russia. A generation of experts is leaving who could influence the development of the concept of Russian foreign policy. Afghanistan is still on the periphery of Russian national, state interests. But I think that Russia will return to Afghanistan. Moreover, there are signals from the same ordinary Afghans to return Russia. Return the country that has always helped Afghanistan. Not only fought. I think Russia has prospects. We must give her time. ”
Foreign troops are not in a hurry to leave Afghanistan. But their departure, according to many experts, will lead to the beginning of a new civil war. The withdrawal of NATO forces is possible only under one condition for the creation of its own security forces, believes Dr. Hazrat Wahriz, director of the Center for Strategic Studies of the Afghan Foreign Ministry.
In one, the Afghan scientists are unanimous. Life in Afghanistan for the post-Taliban period has changed noticeably. There are one and a half million mobile subscribers in the country. There are 16 commercial banks. Develop and media. Only in Kabul 6 private television channels have opened. Possible and economic growth. True, on one condition - it is necessary to create infrastructure and resolve the issue of providing the country with electricity. In the meantime, electricity is available only for only 11% of the Afghan population.
Tajikistan continues to declare its readiness to continue to help Afghanistan. This will be possible if the first unit of the Sangtuda hydropower plant is launched in December of this year, and not in March 2008. The full hydropower plant is scheduled to launch in 2009. Its design capacity is 670 MW. The total cost of the project is estimated at $ 482 million. "RAO UES of Russia" owns 75%, Tajikistan - the remaining quarter. Already, this project is called one of the most profitable in the CIS. Putting into operation Sangtuda-1 HPP will provide electricity to the domestic market of Tajikistan, including the largest industrial facilities, as well as enable its export to Russia, the republics of the former USSR, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan. In addition, the facility will allow daily regulation of the flow of the Vakhsh River, which will help optimize the use of water resources. Thus, the hydropower plant will play a crucial role in regulating the water balance of the entire region. However, there are things that are of concern. Not all agreements, especially with Russia, began to be implemented as desired, notes independent political analyst Rashid Abdullayev.
- The construction of the Rogun hydropower station has not moved from a dead center. There are many problems here, one of which is that if Tajikistan approaches the construction of the Rogun hydroelectric station as an economic, national and political task, then for the main investor, RusAL, this project is nothing more than a commercial one. Different approaches did not allow for some kind of consensus during these two years. It is unlikely that in the near future, problems with this company will receive a quick resolution. The president also said the same thing, saying that we can build, say, Rogun ourselves, although we leave the doors open for cooperation with all those who would like to cooperate. This indicates some disappointment towards the approaches of investors to this project, at the same time cooperation on Sangtud is going more successfully. From this we can conclude that while Tajikistan is better at cooperating either with states or with companies in which state participation is predominant, and cooperation with private companies, due to the difference in approaches, is not established yet. It will still take time to find a common denominator, but today it is not visible.
In the meantime, cooperation with China is developing, where all companies are subordinate to the state or listen to the state. Now, China will be able to join the construction of capital facilities in addition to Russia and Iran. For example, Emomali Rakhmonov will visit the People’s Republic of China. The occasion is the 15th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between Tajikistan and the PRC. The negotiations will focus on the development of a cascade of hydroelectric power stations on the Zeravshan River. In this case, electricity will provide not only the Sughd region of the country, the most industrialized zone in the north of the republic, but also the opportunity to export energy to the north.
The project of rehabilitation of the Dushanbe-Khujand road of strategic importance for Tajikistan and further to the northern borders of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan is proceeding rapidly. The project is implemented from the funds allocated by China in the framework of cooperation in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. The road to consolidation has been completed in the republic, now Dushanbe is connected with year-round communication with Gorno-Badakhshan and Sogd oblast. In 2006, the construction of the Anzob tunnel was completed and the construction of the Shahristan tunnel was launched, these are projects that allow you to tie the territories of Tajikistan together with hoops. This year, Afghan businessmen will be able to transit through Tajik Badakhshan to China, then to Pakistan and India. Gorny Badakhshan will no longer be a peripheral region, the autonomous region turns into a convenient crossroad connecting the Far East with the Middle East, as well as Central Asia and South Asia.
There were no robberies of local banks in Jalalabad! Heads of banks and a representative of Nat. Bank of the Kyrgyz Republic reported this at a special press conference. So, Do not believe everything that says RIA "Novosti"!