President Kurmanbek Bakiyev said on Friday that Kyrgyzstan will build two new hydroelectric stations despite protests from Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan.
Bakiyev said the decisions of Kyrgyzstan to build new hydroelectric stations, Kambarata 1 and Kambarata 2, and to close an American air base have brought Kyrgyzstan to a new level as an active participant in world affairs.
Bakiyev said these decisions can bring pressure to other countries. "The pressure and will to take control over Kyrgyz's strategic resources are increased," the president said at the sixth meeting of the People's Assembly of Kyrgyzstan.
The Uzbek Foreign Ministry on Monday issued a press release on its position on the construction of new hydroelectric stations in the upper reaches of the trans-boundary rivers. It mentioned issues of fair water use and to take into account the interests of all neighbors.
Uzbekistan said that any wide scale construction in trans-boundary river basins requires obligatory agreement from all countries of Central Asia, any intervention from third countries into hydroelectric issues of Central Asia is not allowed. Uzbekistan adheres to the position of necessity to conduct an international study under UN aegis of all hydroelectric projects on trans-boundary rivers.
But experts in hydroelectric issues of Kyrgyzstan do not see any threat to the national interests of Uzbekistan. On the contrary the experts think the construction of these stations will provide energy security and water needs for the region.
Bazarbay Mambetov, an international expert in energy, said the construction of the stations will provide better water division among Central Asian countries.
"In winter when the Kyrgyz Republic needs electricity, we will use the water of Kambarata stations and water flowing down stream will be collected in the Tokotgul reservoir. It will save water for Uzbekistan's need during the vegetation period," Mambetov said..
"Uzbekistan might not want to give energy independence to Kyrgyzstan," Mambetov said, "because if we produce enough electricity, we will not buy their gas."