DUSHANBE (TCA) - A two-way trade between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan decreased last month.
According to the Agency for Statistics under the President of Tajikistan, Tajikistan-Kyrgyzstan trade last month valued at little more than 1.236 million U.S. dollars. This consisted of Tajikistan's exports to Kyrgyzstan estimated at 124,000 U.S. dollars and Tajikistan's imports from Kyrgyzstan worth 1.112 million U.S dollars.
In January 2013, trade between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan reportedly amounted to more than 11 million U.S. dollars, which was 5.5 times more than in the same period of 2012.
Trade between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan rose more than 2.3 times in a year to December 2013, 2013, reaching 186.5 million U.S. dollars.
Last year, Kyrgyzstan was in the 7th place among main trading partners of Tajikistan and its share in Tajikistan's external trade turnover amounted to 3.5 percent.
The Tajik-Kyrgyz border has been closed since January 11, when an exchange of fire along the border left five Kyrgyz border guards, one Kyrgyz police officer, and two Tajik border guards injured. The clash started when Tajiks protested Kyrgyzstan's construction of a bypass road through a disputed area. Tajikistan has requested to halt the construction of the road until the border is delimited.
Kyrgyzstan recalled its ambassador to Tajikistan and unilaterally closed border crossing points (BCPs) on its common border with Tajikistan.
Meanwhile, some Kyrgyz media sources report that residents of Kyrgyz border villages have stated that they are ready to lynch smugglers who sell goods to Tajik nationals.
CA-NEWS reports that residents of Kyrgyz border villages are outraged by the fact that although the border has been closed some citizens of Kyrgyzstan have smuggled 5 tons of rice, 2.5 tons of apples and two horses to Tajikistan. They reportedly stated this during a meeting with Deputy Interior Minister, Kursan Asanov, and chief of Batken police department Anarbay Alymbayev in the village of Koktash on February 20.
According to the Batken police press center, residents of the Kyrgyz border villages demand that the border crossing points (BCPs) remain closed until the border issue is solved. They reportedly also demanded accelerating the construction of bypass roads Koktash-Aksai and Aksai-Tamdyk.