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  Sergej Riabko. President of Tajikistan refused to visit Medvedev

2009 02 09

It was announced on Saturday, 31 January, that the President of Tajikistan Imamoli Rakhmanov cancelled his visit to Russia. The arrival in Moscow was planned for 1 February, and the meeting with the President Dmitrij Medvedev for Monday, 2 February. As reported in “Vremia Novostej” the Tajik leader refused from the participation at the Summit of the Organisation of negotiations concerning mutual safety (ОДКБ) ad the Euro-Asian Economic Union (ЕвпАзЭс).

The officially announced reason for the refusal was the economic crisis that Tajikistan is currently facing, and all foreign visits of Rakhmanov will be cancelled until 10 February. However, the real cause of the refusal to go to Moscow, according to the general opinion, was the political – economic disagreement between the Tajic leader and the Kremlin.

The matter is that on 22 – 23 January, during the visit to Uzbekistan, the neighbouring country of Tajikistan, Dmitrij Medvedev stated that Russia is not going to participate in the construction of HES in the Central Asian region provided all the states of the region failed to approve it. First of all it is related to the unfinished construction of the Rogun HES on the river Vakhsha, in which Tajikistan is very much interested. On the other hand this project raises fairs for Uzbekistan, the authorities of which consider that the construction of another HES in Tajikistan will lead to the depletion of water resources in the neighbouring countries.

Another reason for the refusal of Imamoli Rakhmanov to go to Moscow is of an inter-political character. As noted by “Vremia Novostej” Russia may be soon presented to the population of Tajikistan as the major perpetrator of the energetic crisis in the country. And here the refusal of Medvedev to participate in the construction of the Rogun HES will be quite handy.

Whatever the reason, the Saturday demarche of Imamoli Rakhmanov presents the most significant issue in the history of Russian – Tajik relations.

Material has been prepared by the Centre of Geopolitical Studies with reference to the article from “Утро.ru“ of  2 February 2009.

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