What consequences can Tajikistan expect from Russia-Ukraine conflict?

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Over the past 2021, the trade turnover between Tajikistan and the Russian Federation amounted to more than 1.352 billion USD. Most of all, Tajikistan has a strong dependence on Russian oil products, supplies of wood and metals. According to the expert, any changes in these sectors in the Russian Federation will directly affect Tajikistan.

The conflict will have very negative consequences for the economies of both countries, said.

“If the ongoing military operation continues for more than a month, most likely the leadership of the Russian Federation may partially or completely close its borders,” said Suhrob. “It is possible that the operation of many large plants and factories cooperating with Tajikistan will be suspended. Everything will depend on Western sanctions.”

According to him, Western sanctions will lead to the halt and termination of the activities of many enterprises in the territory of the Russian Federation in which Tajik citizens work.

“Perhaps the leadership of the Russian Federation, on the wave of mass unemployment, due to the shutdown or closure of enterprises, will begin a tough migration policy in order to provide its citizens with jobs,” said the expert. “It is also possible that the US and the EU will require Dushanbe not to cooperate with Russian enterprises and companies that fall under their sanctions list, such as Sberbank, Gazprom, Rosneft, RosAtom, VAZ, KamAZ and RusAl. It is possible that TALCO may become a bargaining chip for the US and EU countries.”

Asked whether Dushanbe will support Moscow politically or will it prefer neutrality, the expert said Tajikistan is not in a position to support Moscow’s actions. According to him, Dushanbe understands and realizes that any positive assessment and statement about Moscow at the moment can lead to international isolation, sanctions, suspension of all Western grants, loans, projects, especially social and humanitarian ones. Thus, the Tajik leadership will never recognize Crimea as part of the Russian Federation, and the LPR and DPR as independent republics.

“There can be no question of any neutrality, Dushanbe is not a regional power to have such a luxury as “neutrality”. This term is suitable for Turkey, India, China, or Pakistan, but not Tajikistan. Dushanbe’s position is very simple, it will adhere to the position of the UN (EU, US). If Moscow demands from the Central Asian countries to recognize the LPR and DPR as independent republics, then the Tajik leadership is unlikely to be able to protest and disagree. We all know that the Russian Federation has many levers of pressure on the Central Asian countries, primarily on Tajikistan (201 motor rifle divisions, labor migrants, etc.),” Suhrob added.

Source: Asia-Plus