Uzbekistan Cuts Gas Delivery to Kyrgyzstan
Uzbektransgaz, the state gas company of Uzbekistan, has cut delivery of gas to Osh in neighboring Kyrgyzstan by 50 percent, centrasia.ru reported May 19.
Matkalyk Amatov, director of the Osh gas authority said he got a telegram from Kyrgyzgaz that the gas delivery was stopped over back payments due of some 1.6 million soums (about US $10,000). Talks are under way to turn the service back on.
Tashkent halted gas to south of Kyrgyzstan in February, warning about a $7 million debt, 24.kg reported.
Uzbekistan has turned off the gas tap on other neighbors as well. In January, Uzbektransgaz
reduced supplies to neighboring Tajikistanby 50 percent. Cash-strapped Tajikistan, struggling with winter cold, could not pay its bills. Increasingly, Uzbekistan has extracted pre-payments from its poorer neighbors because of their chronic debts.
Uzbekistan has also been in a number of energy, border, and trade disputes with Kyrgyzstan and has protested against Bishkek's plan to construct the
Kambarata hydropower planet. Tashkent began shutting off the gas to Kyrgyzstan several years ago.