Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Central Asian Rail Freight Spat Escalates

Note of Protest Handed to Uzbek Ambassador
Shipping News Feature

UZBEKISTAN / TAJIKSTAN – The Government of Tajikstan has officially handed a note of protest to the Uzbek Ambassador over the latter nations apparent inability to allow an estimated one thousand rail freight cars to pass across its borders, according to Radio Free Europe.

The Uzbek’s have claimed that the delays in onward shipping are due to technical difficulties. However, the Tajik’s have stated that the delay is in actual fact a blockade of construction materials and technical equipment to be used in building of the Roghun hydroelectric power plant, which Uzbekistan has objected to, stating concerns over their own water supplies if the dam is constructed.

Although it may appear that the argument is simply one between neighbours, the route between the two countries has in fact developed some importance in international freight as a route for supplies to NATO forces engaged in military operations in Afghanistan. The Tajik’s have confirmed that non military supplies for those forces are also among the cargoes held up.

There has been response to the note of protest from the Uzbeks at this time.

(pic: Proposed site for the Roghun Dam)