The conflict between Uzbekistan and Tajikistan over the construction of Rogun Hydro Power Station by Dushanbe is taking a more threatening character.
Islam Karimov, the President of Uzbekistan, during his last visit to Astana admitted that different positions of the both parties in this question may lead not only to confrontation, but even to a full-scale war.
Besides Rogun, Tashkent is seriously concerned over the construction of a similar structure in the neighboring Kyrgyzstan.
According to the Uzbek side, in case Bishkek and Dushanbe bring their plans to a successful conclusion, millions of people living at lower reaches of rivers in Uzbekistan will be cut off from water for years, what, in turn, means an environmental disaster for the Uzbek cities of Khorezm, Bukhara and the autonomous republic of Karakalpakstan.
A Kazakh political scientist Marat Shibutov believes that the statement of the Uzbek president about the risk of ‘water war’ in the region should be accepted as an ultimatum.
Moreover, Mr Shibutov is sure that big war is unavoidable: it will start in two or three years, if Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan do not refuse their projects.
If Dushanbe and Bishkek do not step back, the conflict may be resolved through the method of force only, he said in an interview with Total.kz. – By the way, Uzbekistan will have modernized its army by 2014-2015, accumulating power, also owing to the military hardware to be inherited from the US army after it leaves Afghanistan. It is worth mentioning that even the power and hardware Uzbeks have at hand today, will be enough to run successful war at two fronts. Furthermore, Tashkent needs a brief victorious war. Just the Osh conflicts may be a chance for Uzbekistan to strengthen the ruling elite’s positions and resolve old border disputes.