Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has offered to invest “at least $500 million” in a Central Asian electricity project that will provide energy to Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Mr. Putin made the offer at a one-day meeting of the Prime Ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation held in St. Petersburg on Monday.
“Russia is willing to commit at least $500 million into this project,” said Mr. Putin. “We could implement this project in a fairly short time and we propose intensifying work in this direction.”
Under the Central Asia-South Asia Electricity Trade and Transmission Project, CASA 1000, hydropower-rich Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan will export 1,000MW of electricity to power-deficit Afghanistan and Pakistan.
CASA-1000 is one of the projects that may be undertaken by a proposed energy club of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.
“We support the idea of setting up the SCO energy club,” said Mr. Putin. He added that the decision to form the energy club had been approved.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation comprises six full members — China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, four observer states — India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan, and two dialogue partners — Belarus and Sri Lanka.