These days Mahsumjon Abdullaev, a taxi driver in Uzbekistan’s eastern city of Ferghana, has to wake up early every morning to join a long line of drivers who must wait hours to fill up their vehicles at a government-operated gas station. A deepening fuel shortage is abetting corruption and spreading widespread frustration across the country, according to Abdullaev.
Signs of brewing trouble first appeared in the spring when a Tashkent court froze the assets of Zeromax Gmbh, a Swiss-registered conglomerate that operated a chain of gas stations in Uzbekistan. [For background see EurasiaNet’s archives].
By July, fuel shortages were being reported across the Central Asian nation, making long lines at gas stations a daily reality.
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