#12 - JRL 7216
WATER SHORTAGE TO BREED CENTRAL ASIAN TENSIONS, WARNS RUSSIAN MP
MOSCOW, JUNE 9 (RIA Novosti's Viktoria Prikhodko) - Military, social, economic and political problems in Central Asia will come to an edge, and badly undermine Russian interests, unless the water problem is settled in the arid region, warns Andrei Kokoshin. He leads the committee for CIS affairs and contacts with ethnic Russians abroad at the State Duma, the Russian parliament's lower house.
Many aspects of water supply cooperation came under discussion as Russian parliamentarians and Kazakh experts met at his committee. Previous debates were in the lobby of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit.
The debaters called to step up teamwork for the use of water resources, and take the Chinese situation into due account in that. Though China is taking more water from the Black Irtysh, water shortages are getting ever worse. Central Asian developments are alarming, with water losses, soil salination, and dams and canals dilapidating.
Russia is among the world's richest for clean water. It is one of its most precious national resources. Economic, environmental and security experts must join hands for long-term guidelines on water use.
Mr. Kokoshin's committee will go on debating the problem. MPs intend to call executive agencies to analyse prospects for partner-like use of water. The house will advise to put the matter on forum agendas of the EURASEC, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, and the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, said our informant to round off his interview.
The EURASEC, or Eurasian Economic Community, brings together Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan; the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation - China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan; and the Collective Security Treaty Organisation - Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan.