Kazaks to bar Tajik trains from Russia

Kazakhstan said on Wednesday it would bar trains from Central Asian neighbour Tajikistan from crossing its territory to Russia, citing problems with the smuggling of drugs and illegal immigration. State railway company Kazakhstan Temir Zholy issued a statement stating that the measure would become effective from Thursday and had been brought into force after a request from Moscow. It said the trains were a fire hazard, dirty and often overloaded with goods, Reuters reports. Poverty and instability have made the country a conduit for the drug trade from Afghanistan to Europe. Many Tajiks rely on trade for a livelihood, shuttling goods between their country and Russia. The Kazakh train company also said it was owed $1.6 million in transit fees by the Tajiks.