Putin pledges energy cooperation on visit to Uzbekistan


Russia is to increase cooperation on energy with Uzbekistan by building a gas pipeline and several hydroelectric and nuclear power stations in the country, President Vladimir Putin announced while on a state visit to Tashkent on Monday.

“The area of energy is a strategic direction,” Putin said.

The construction of the pipeline aims to boost Russian gas exports to 11 billion cubic metres annually from next year from 2.8 billion cubic metres currently.

While Uzbekistan has its own large gas reserves, extraction and distribution equipment are obsolete, with the result that demand currently exceeds supply.

Moscow and Tashkent also plan to cooperate on the construction of small nuclear power plants in the country, which is regarded as a zone of relatively high seismic activity.

Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev said an agreement on the construction of several such plants would be signed during Putin’s visit. The plans are reported to involve six 55-megawatt reactors.

In 2018, the two countries agreed on a 2.4-gigawatt nuclear power plant, but start of construction has been delayed. This project is now to be accelerated, according to the reports.

Putin referred to “good perspectives for cooperation on hydropower.” According to the information released, Russian specialists are to build two hydroelectric plants on Uzbek lakes. Uzbekistan’s energy security would be assured with Russian assistance, Putin said.

The visit is Putin’s third trip abroad since the start of his fifth period in office earlier this month. He has also visited China and Belarus. The visit to Uzbekistan is being seen in Russian media as evidence of his attempts to boost Russian influence there.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) meets with Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev at the Kuksaroy Presidential Palace. -/Kremlin/dpa

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) meets with Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev at the Kuksaroy Presidential Palace. -/Kremlin/dpa



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