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Uzbekistan-Tajikistan: When is a Blockade a Blockade?

Uzbekistan is taking passive-aggressive diplomatic behavior to new heights.

Tajik officials have accused Uzbekistan of imposing an economic blockade by cutting off gas deliveries and reportedly taking steps to dismantle a rail line leading into the impoverished country. The unilateral Uzbek actions threaten to “lead to the further deterioration of the conditions of life of the people of Tajikistan and threatens to turn into a humanitarian catastrophe,” Tajik officials said April 2.

In response, Uzbek Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyoyev brushed of Tajik talk of a blockade as groundless, adding that “technicalities” are responsible for interruptions in trade.

Uzbekistan’s position is “absolutely justified and fully meets international law,” Mirziyoyev said in an April 4 letter to Tajik Prime Minister Akil Akilov, posted on the Jahon news portal, a website affiliated with the Uzbek Foreign Ministry. 

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Uzbekistan-Tajikistan: When is a Blockade a Blockade?

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