Deputy Prime Minister/Energy Minister Zhurabek Mirzamakhmudov commented on suggestions that Uzbekistan was allegedly creating an artificial shortage of energy in order to persuade the population and the country to voluntarily participate in a “triple gas alliance” with Kazakhstan and Russia.
“It should be noted that [the shortage of energy resources] is not related to external factors. This is due to the growth of domestic consumption, the economic growth, the growth of the population and their well-being and income, which is why the need and demand for energy resources is growing sharply. It should be noted that it is still our fault that we cannot cover this need at a sufficient level and in sufficient volumes,” he said.
He added that gas should be imported to cover the growing demand.
“In order to cover demand, ensure domestic consumption and solve the problem, today we are negotiating to import gas and electricity from neighboring countries, and not through some kind of alliance or union. Here we are negotiating based on national interests in order to cooperate on the basis of a commercial contract, sale and purchase, and not through the transfer of our energy networks, ”he stressed.
At the end of November, it became known that the russian president Vladimir Putin proposed the creation of a "trilateral gas union" of Kazakhstan, Russia and Uzbekistan. The Kazakh President Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev said he was ready to consider this proposal and that Putin was going to call Shavkat Mirziyoyev on this issue.
Later, Mirziyoyev and Putin had a telephone conversation, but details related to the gas union were not reported.