DUSHANBE, January 21, 2010, Asia-Plus  -- Uzbek authorities’ decision to give up rail cargo transit through the territory of Tajikistan will affect, first of all, economy of Uzbekistan itself, Amonullo Hukumatullo, head of the State Unitary Enterprise Rohi Ohan (Tajik Railways), announced at a news conference in Dushanbe on January 20.

According to him, giving up rail cargo transit via Tajikistan, Uzbekistan will have to carry cargoes from the city of Angren to the Andijon, Namangan and Ferghana regions by motor transport that will raise transportation expenses significantly.

We will recall that Uzbek President Islam Karimov on December 28, 2008 signed a decree banning transit of Uzbek commercial commodities through the territory of Tajikistan to Uzbekistan’s Ferghana region.  The exception is made only for strategic cargoes such as fuels and lubricants, gasoline and diesel fuel transported from the Ferghana oil refinery.

Many experts attribute this decision of Uzbek authorities to intention of getting rid of Uzbekistan’s dependence on Tajik railroad.