DUSHANBE, February 6, 2010, Asia-Plus  -- A letter Uzbek Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyoyev recently sent to Tajik Prime Minister Oqil Oqilov indicates that disputes between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan over the construction of the Roghun hydroelectric power plant (HPP) have reached a critical point, Mhiddin Kabiri, leader of the Islamic Revival Party (IRPT), said in an interview with Asia-Plus.

We will recall that in the letter published in Uzbekistan''s official Russian-language newspaper, Pravda Vostoka , on February 3, Uzbek premier warns official Dushanbe of potential damage by the Roghun HPP to Central Asia’s environmental balance and calls for carrying out independent assessment studies for the Roghun project because it had been worked out 40 years ago already on the basis of outdated technological decisions.

According to Kabiri, Tajikistan should not reply to this letter.  “Tajikistan is currently protecting its own interests,” said IRPT leader, “Time has come to take initiative and it is necessary to send letters explaining significance for the Roghun HPP for development of Tajikistan not only to the neighboring countries but also to other countries and international organizations to explain them why we are building the Roghun station.”

Tajikistan needs the Roghun HPP, he noted.  “If the construction of the Roghun HPP is dangerous to the neighboring countries in the region as leaders of some counties claim, the cessation of the construction of this facility threatens development of our country’s economy and the Tajik people as a whole.   Is it possible to say about development of the country when houses do not have electricity and heating and enterprises stand idle because of severe electricity shortages?”