Resumed gas supplies from Uzbekistan to Tajikistan is more probably connected with Uzbekistan’s fear of international pressure, deputy of the Lower Chamber of the Tajik Parliament Suhrob Sharipov said.
“In modern conditions pressure on weaker neighbors is not welcomed and Uzbek authorities do realize that, especially when Uzbekistan is trying to join many international organizations, including the World Trade Organization. They will hardly be accepted with such an image,” he told in his interview with AP.
He believes that Uzbek authorities used all possible instruments of pressure to bend Tajikistan to their will, but they failed.
“They used all possible efforts to suppress us when it was possible. They mined our border, tried visa regime, cut electricity and gas supplies for us, closed roads. However, they see now that there are no more ways left. The only way which remains is war. But rich Uzbekistan does not need the war since it may loose too much. Tajikistan has nothing to loose since the only thing we have is mountains,” Sharipov has said.
On the other hand, he believes that Uzbekistan’s pressure forces Tajikistan to search for new ways out of the current situation and, therefore, develop. “The more they put pressure on us, the more our heads itch and the more we start to think. Once I visited Tashkent and thanked Islam Abduganievich Karimov for the blockade since it made us think and search for alternative ways out. We launched the construction of hydropower plants, roads and other objects. I told him to keep on doing those things they do,” he said.
Sharipov is confident that there is no reason to believe that relationships with Uzbekistan will improve in the next few years. “We have to think and take the republic out of Uzbekistan’s grip. We have to develop energy sector by erecting new heating plants which use coal and try to lead the republic out of energy crisis,” he said.