Books on Tajikistan
Update No: 304 - (28/04/06)
Russia, Tajikistan hold joint anti-terror drill
Dushanbe is definitely sinking back into the Russian orbit, after mildly
flirting with the US. Washington still retains the right to use Dushanbe Airport
for Afghan missions, but its presence is eclipsed by Moscow's military reach
Russian and Tajik troops wrapped up a three-day joint anti-terror military
exercise at a military base on the outskirt of the Tajik capital in early April.
Speaking at a news conference after the exercise, Tajik Chief of the General
Staff Ramil Nadirov said the military exercise was focused on repelling a
hypothetical intrusion by a large number of terrorists. The drill involved a
total of 1,100 servicemen from Tajikistan and the Russian military base in the
central Asian nation, 100 armoured vehicles, two fighter jets, two helicopters
and heavy artillery, Nadirov said.
Tajik President Emomali Rahmonov, Defence Minister Sherali Khairullaev and
Russian ambassador to Tajikistan Ramazan Abdulatipov, who were present at the
drill, hailed the exercise as having achieved the expected results.
In October 2004, Rahmonov and Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an
agreement to establish a permanent base for Russia's 201st Motorized Rifle
Division that has been stationed in Tajikistan since the end of the
Soviet-Afghan war in 1989.
The Tajik facility is the second that Russia has established abroad since the
collapse of the Soviet Union, following a base in Kyrgyzstan established in
Opening up to Kazakstan
An even more important partner for Tajikistan is the Central Asian colossus
nearby, Kazakstan, whose economy is booming and becoming a magnet for the whole
More than 10 documents were to be signed during the official visit of Rahmonov
to Kazakstan in May, a source in the government of Tajikistan informed Kazakstan
In particular, a number of intergovernmental agreements on the air traffic,
international motorway traffic, and mutual recognition of licenses for
construction activities should be the result of the talks at the top level.
The source has noted that especially significant will be an agreement on labour
activities and protection of migrant workers rights on the territories of both
According to official data, currently there are 32 thousand citizens of
Tajikistan temporarily sojourning and working in Kazakhstan, most of them in
To turn to domestic affairs, presidential elections are to be held in
Tajikistan in November this year. Each of eight officially registered parties of
the country prepares to participate in them. As a REGNUM correspondent was told
by Rahmatullo Valiyev, Deputy Chairman of the Tajikistan Democratic Party, this
party "despite the fact that its leader is in prison, prepares for the
upcoming presidential elections in the country. We can say already now, upcoming
presidential elections will be falsified."
The law on presidential elections in Tajikistan does not suit the Tajik
Democrats. "We say once again that next presidential elections in
Tajikistan should be held after a new law is adopted. We are sure, that if the
elections are held in accordance with the current law, the results will be
falsified and we can state already now that the presidential elections will be
carried out with a great number of violations. Thus, we proposed before to amend
the law, which will secure equal participation of political parties in forming
election commissions and non-inclusion in these commissions of executive
He continued: "Besides, we claim to establish conditions for the free
collection of signatures in support of presidential contenders and independence
of the process from local administrations. We propose to intensify civil control
over the election process. We see it necessary to determine mechanisms of
punishment for violations of the process of presidential elections. But, even
despite having the law, which gives an opportunity of full falsification of the
election outcome, we are preparing for the event."
OSCE to help Tajikistan conduct presidential elections
Nevertheless, perhaps a significant meeting took place with the new OSCE
Chairman-in-Office, Belgian Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht, who arrived in
Tajikistan on March 29th and was met by the president himself. The sides came to
an agreement regarding the presence of ODIHR observers at the upcoming
presidential elections, as Karel De Gucht told the press after the meeting.
Gucht added that OSCE in cooperation with the Tajik government plans to develop
standards and assist in carrying out presidential elections in the country,
because they are "an important step towards democratic society," De
Gucht said and expressed hope that the elections would be fair and transparent.
Regarding the political situation before the elections, De Gucht said the
presidential elections themselves are an important showing of the democratic
process, especially in Tajikistan, where enormous efforts must be made to simply
stabilize the situation. He promised aid to Tajikistan in construction of a
De Gucht informed the press that speaking about military cooperation, Rahmonov
expressed satisfaction with a project regarding firearms and weapons that the
population own, and a project of clearing Tajikistani territory from mines. The
president also asked for projects of border defence that will be discussed by
the council in Vienna.
The OSCE Chairman-in-Office also informed the press that he met Tajikistan
Foreign Minister Talbak Nazarov, and noted that the law on NGO activity in
Tajikistan would not be passed at least until the presidential elections,
because there is no need. "If the government wants to punish NGOs for some
violations it can use common laws, but a special law on NGOs can be used against
NGOs as a measure of control," said De Gucht.
According to De Gucht, the sides also discussed suspension of BBC broadcasting
in FM frequency, and discovered that it was a technical problem, so soon BBC
will receive permission for FM broadcasting.
It is with observing that no one believes that there will be any other result
than a massive 'reported' vote for the incumbent President, Rahmonov, who has no
intention of allowing himself to be deprived of power. It can also be predicted
that OSCE will report widespread violations of legal and democratic procedure,
which regrettable will make no difference to the result.
Inekon to build cement works in Tajikistan
Inekon group recently signed a contract worth US$100 million with the company
Izmoili Somonij, Inekon group said in a press release on April 2nd, reported
Interfax News Agency.
Inekon Group is a private Czech company which is focused on production and sale
of rail vehicles, chemicals and export of complete plants. According to the
contract, Inekon will build a new cement works in Tajikistan within a duration
of two years. This new facility in Shartuz will produce 500,000 tonnes of cement
a year, and output can grow to 2.5 million tonnes a year. The project will be
launched this year. The Czech Export Bank CEB will provide a loan for the cement
works construction that will be insured by the EGAP export guarantee and
insurance company. A loan contract will be signed in May, when the cornerstone
will also be laid, said Inekon. PSG International will be in charge of
construction work and PSP Engineering will supply technology. "We are also
interested in projects of new hydroelectric power plants in Tajikistan,"
said Inekon Group CEO Josef Husek. The group Inekon employs about 500 staff. Its
turnover last year amounted to one billion Czech crowns and pre-tax profit is
put at around 20 million crowns. Inekon Group signed earlier a contract with GUP
Tadzikcement for the modernisation of a cement works in Dushanbe worth US$73
million or about 1.7 billion Czech crowns aid.
Gazprom to invest over US$7m in Tajik venture
Russian gas giant Gazprom plans to invest over US$7 million in a Tajik-Russian
joint venture, a source in the Tajik Energy Ministry said, Interfax News Agency
The official said that the share of the founders in the charter capital would be
as follows: Gazprom - not less than 75 per cent; and Tajikistan - 25 per cent.
The joint venture will be set up in the form of a closed joint stock company.
The company's main activities will be exploring and developing hydrocarbon
fields in Tajikistan. The joint venture's tasks will also include equipping
fields, and repairing and re-launching wells. Tajikistan currently produces not
more than 26 million cubic metres of gas, annually. Its needs are estimated at
about two billion cubic metres. Reports circulated earlier said a memorandum of
intent to set up an oil and gas joint venture was likely to be signed during
Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller's one-day visit to Dushanbe recently.
Miller was expected to meet with Tajik President, Emomali Rahmonov, Prime
Minister, Akil Akilov, and Energy Minister, Dzhurabek Nurmakhmadov. The
officials were expected to discuss funding, exploratory work, well drilling and
the supply of special machinery for this work. "The Tajik energy ministry
plans to propose Gazprom develop the Sargazon gas field in Dangar and Sarikamysh
in Shakhrinav," the Tajik Energy Ministry said. At the end of 2004, Deputy
Energy Minister, Emomiddin Aslov, said Gazprom and state owned company Tajikgaz
was considering the establishment of a joint company to explore for and extract
natural gas in Tajikistan. The joint venture was to develop the country's
southern deposits with gas reserves of 200 billion cubic metres.
EU to expand cooperation with Tajikistan
The European Union is satisfied with the current situation in Tajikistan,
European Union Special Representative for Central Asia, Jan Kubis, said after a
meeting with Tajik President, Emomali Rahmonov, Interfax News Agency reported.
The situation in Tajikistan is stable, there is positive growth, and the basis
for social, economic and political development has been laid, he said. The
meeting saw the discussion of EU cooperation with Tajikistan, in particular,
issues related to aid to the country in fighting drug trafficking, he said.
Tajikistan has the longest border with Afghanistan (1,344 kilometres), the
world-leading producer of opiates. Moreover, Kubis highlighted the fact that the
EU wants to deepen cooperation with Tajikistan in strengthening state borders.
Kubis arrived in Tajikistan on a two-day working visit in order to familiarise
himself with the implementation of a number of EU projects, mainly in the
OPEC Fund loan grants US$5.35m to Tajikistan
The OPEC Fund for International Development on March 24th signed a US$5.35
million loan agreement with Tajikistan. The agreement was signed in Vienna by
Shavkad Sakhibov, deputy minister of finance of Tajikistan and by Jamal Nasser
Lootah, chairman of the governing board of the OPEC Fund, reported Interfax News
The fund will be utilised in the construction of a hospital in the Khatlon
Region, some 130 kilometres southeast from the capital Dushanbe. The project is
part of the government's strategy to improve the country's health services and
provide the population with comprehensive, affordable medical care. The
government is striving hard to update the health sector but still disparities in
coverage exist. Many facilities are dilapidated, under-equipped and lack
medication and supplies and such things are visible in the Khatlon Region, which
represents around one-third of the country's total population. The area is
under-served and individuals often must undergo a lengthy waiting period just to
receive basic medical services. Those requiring more specialised treatment are
often referred to health care facilities in Dushanbe. To improve the quality and
availability of healthcare, the loan will help finance the construction of a
150-bed general hospital, covering an area of 9,000 square metres, in the city
of Dangara in the Khatlon Region. The facility will contain specialty
departments such as paediatrics, obstetrics and gynaecology, cardiology and
internal medicine, as well as emergency and intensive care units. A full range
of modern medical equipment will be supplied, and an initial stock of medication
provided for the hospital's first year of operation. Training programmes will be
offered to locally-recruited medical specialists. In addition, a hospital sector
reform component will develop regulations and bring organisational and
administrative aspects of medical care in line with the regional regulations of
Dangara's ministry of health. Tajikistan has been the recipient of six other
OPEC Fund project loans in the health, education, energy and transportation
sectors. Tajikistan also received a technical assistance grant in the area of
water supply and sanitation.
President of Tajikistan to visit Kazakstan
Tajik President Emomali Rahmonov, is scheduled to pay a visit to Kazakstan,
Yerlan Abildayev, Ambassador of Tajikistan to Kazakstan, said, Interfax News
The exact date of the visit was not specified. Abildayev said that during
Rahmonov's visit, several agreements will be signed including agreements on air
communication, labour migration, supplies of oil products, and cultural
cooperation. It is expected that the heads of both countries will discuss
construction of a power transmission line from Tajikistan to Kazakstan after the
commissioning of one of three hydropower stations in Tajikistan (Rogoun,
Sangutdin-1 and 2). "The Investment Fund of Kazakstan in its turn is
interested in construction of a coordinated hydroelectric system on Zerafshan
River in Tajikistan," Abildayev said. He added Kazak investors are studying
the economic climate of Tajikistan and conditions for cooperation in energy,
pharmaceuticals and agricultural processing sectors.