A Russian-owned power plant in Tajikistan warned Friday that it will cut off supplies to this impoverished former Soviet republic unless it is paid back about $6.5 million in debt.
Sangtuda-1 plant director Rakhmetulla Alzhanov said Tajik state power company Barki Tojik is jeopardizing the stable delivery of electricity to domestic consumers by dragging its feet over the debt, which he said will reach $9.7 million by the end of November.
Russia owns a 75 percent stake in the hydropower plant in a river valley about 55 miles (90 kilometers) north of Afghanistan.
Sangtuda-1 plays a vital role in helping to mitigate the catastrophic power shortages that afflict Tajikistan in the freezing winter months. But the mountainous Central Asian nation's vast hydropower potential has suffered from a lack of investment.