By Kamila Aliyeva
Uzbekistan will provide its energy networks for the transit of Turkmen electricity to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
This follows from the memorandum on cooperation signed on May 20 between Uzbekenergo Company and Turkmen Energy Ministry.
The document was signed within the framework of the visit of Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to Turkmen Avaza on May 19-20 where he held talks with Turkmen leader Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.
The Memorandum envisages the development of cooperation on the transit of electricity from Turkmenistan to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan through the energy system of Uzbekistan.
Under the terms of the memorandum, Turkmenistan will deliver electricity to Uzbekistan in exchange for the cancellation of outstanding debts to Uzbekenergo.
Uzbekistan’s willingness to be cooperative on electricity is meaningful as Turkmenistan has to date found itself stymied in its designs to export power to countries like Kyrgyzstan.
At the same time, Kyrgyzstan suffers from seasonal power supply problems, so importing from Turkmenistan is an optimal solution.
Earlier, Turkmenistan expressed readiness to deliver up to 1 billion kWh of electricity to Kyrgyzstan, after the issue of transit through the territory of Uzbekistan will be resolved.
During the USSR period, a single Central Asian energy ring, supplying electricity to all the republics of Central Asia, was created. Turkmenistan left the ring in 2003 and Tajikistan followed its example in 2009.
Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan have also repeatedly stated their readiness to withdraw from the unified energy structure. Kazakhstan’s and Uzbekistan’s withdrawal from the Central Asian electricity grid may deprive almost all the countries in the region of access to the common power system uniting all the energy resources.
This may lead to a severe energy crisis in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, to failures in the work of separate energy systems, to a revision of agreements on sharing of water and consequently to political, social and economic instability in the region.
Kamila Aliyeva is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Kami_Aliyeva
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