Russia’s ZARUBEZHDIPSTROY LLC, which is general contractor for construction of five Russian-language schools in Tajikistan, local partners and other companies had to do most of the work at their own.  The companies have not yet received money for their work.  

Asia-Plus has contacted the Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) for comments, but has never received a response.

Without waiting for any decisions on financing, the Tajik construction companies participating in construction of the mentioned schools on December 22 sent an open letter to President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon and President of Russia Vladimir Putin asking for assistance in resolving this issue.    


Here is the full text of the letter:

“We, representatives of construction companies of Tajikistan participating in constructing and equipping five Russian-language schools in Dushanbe, Kulob, Khujand, Bokhtar and Tursunzoda, are appealing to you regarding a serious problem.

“During the implementation of the Project due to its scale and extremely short deadlines, the General Contractor -- ZARUBEZHDIPSTROY LLC -- in agreement with the Customer – the Eurasian Development Bank, which is an authorized manager of the Eurasian Fund for Stabilization and Development (EFSD) – has brought in Tajikistan’s construction organizations as subcontractors.

“Taking into account the established by the Customer procedure of payment for work performed -- based on monthly acceptance, i.e. without advance payment by the Customer that, along with the mentioned compression of the construction schedule involving a parallel design process, created an additional financial burden for the General Contractor and subcontractors included in the pool.  

The Russian-language school built in Dushanbe

“Driven by a common goal – to complete the Project by the due date -- subcontractors performed the work with deferred payment, actually lending to the Project under the guarantees of the General Contractor, who obligated to repay the debt to subcontractors upon receipt of financing from the Customer. 

“By combining efforts and resources, we achieved our goal – all five schools were introduced into operation and the educational process began in them on September 1, 2022.  But after the grand opening of the schools, widely covered by the media, Project financing from the Customer has decreased and by the end of 2022 it had actually come to naught. 

"At the same time, representatives of the Customer – EFSD Project Block Executive Director of Andrey Shirokov, EFSD Donor Project Implementation Unit Director Alexander Khalturin, EFSD Project Block’s Direction for Construction in Tajikistan Manager Yuri Troitskiy -- constantly assured all of us and other participants in the Project that after receiving a positive conclusion from the state examination and allocating additional funding from the Russian budget in accordance with the updated cost of the Project, the payment for work performed under the Project will be made in full.

“Despite the fact that expected funding from the Russian budget was allocated in December 2022, the payment for work performed by subcontractors was never received.  Moreover, the General Contractor that provided the necessary coordination and project management during the execution of work was removed by the Customer from work, and the volumes withdrawn by the Customer were transferred to the “new contractor” – GEOLINE LLC according to a procedure unknown to us and atypical for procurement. 

“Because none of the Tajik construction companies involved in the Project and has managed to positively prove itself was invited to participate as candidate in the procedure for selecting a new contractor.  

“It has been a year since schools opened, but neither the General Contractor nor our organizations can obtain reimbursement of expenses incurred.   Behind the “facade” of external success of the Project, interest of private persons -- companies that have invested their own resources -- went unnoticed.  

“As of today, the Customer has not paid to subcontractors’ pool for performing work worth more 28 million US dollars, which, in turn, jeopardizes the continued operation of the construction companies, who have earned a high business reputation in the course of performing work and at other facilities significant for the country’s economy.  

the Russian-langauge school built in Khujand; photo / Sughdnews.

“According to the information we have, the General Contractor has already applied the Russian President’s Administration, the Government of the Russian Federation, Russia’s Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Finance, Education and Construction,  the State Duma Committee for CIS Affairs and Eurasian Integration, the Federation Council Committee for International Affairs and sent appeals to the heads of factions of political parties of United Russia, LDPR, and A Just Russia – Patriots – For Truth in the State Duma as well as to the Prosecutor-General’s Office  of the Republic of Tajikistan, but there are no positive changes in resolving the situation that has arisen. 

“Due to the continued absence of real steps to resolve this issue, the actual silencing of the problem and actual silencing of the problem and ignoring by the competent authorities incoming alarms, the image of the Russian, which involved EFSD and EDB in the implementation of the government-to-government agreement between Russia and Tajikistan, as well as the reputation of the international financial institutions organizations acting on the Customer's side are suffering.  

“On behalf of the construction companies of Tajikistan, which participated in the implementation of the project significant for Tajikistan and Russia and proved their dedication to the cause and the ability to achieve maximum results while resolving the professional tasks of a high level of complexity, we ask you to draw attention to the problem we have outlined and provide assistance in finding a fair solution.

“Resolution of the current situation is impossible without your additional attention, since in response to repeated attempts to resolve the issue threatening an international scandal, representatives of these international financial institutions  are hiding behind immunities, thereby actually blocking the ongoing work to establish the real circumstances of the case  - do not provide the requested information and documents in response to requests from government agencies, ignore requests from project participants,  do not comply with court decisions taken against them in the country of their presence. 

“Moreover, letters, sent by representatives of the EFSD and the EDB in response to requests from government agencies, contains distorting information.  The authors of these letters attempt to represent the General Contractor and accordingly, all of us as mistaken in our own stance.  

“However, the circumstances mentioned by the EFSD and the EDB cannot be verified since government agencies of Tajikistan and Russia do not have the necessary powers to do so.  The Customer and its representatives, enjoying immunities, offered some subcontractors, to whom we owed money due to the termination of funding, an unacceptable solution.  They offered to pay off the debt in exchange for a letter of thanks for the EFSD and a reduction in the declared cost of work. 

“This offer, which is actually blackmail, undermines trust in international financial institutions and founding countries. 

“In connection with the above, we request to:

  • lift immunities from the EFSD and the EDB and all persons who made decisions during the execution of work within the framework of Project in the Republic of Tajikistan in order to obtain the information necessary to establish the actual circumstances of the case, information and documentation for subsequent transfer to the competent authorities of the Republic of Tajikistan and the Russian Federation;   


  • involve the Prosecutor General's Office of Tajikistan and the Prosecutor-General’s Office of the Russian Federation as well as other relevant government agencies to establish the essence and resolve the emerging situation that threatens the loss of productivity of highly qualified teams of the Republic of Tajikistan and the Russian Federation.” 


Recall, five Russian-language schools built in the Tajik cities of Dushanbe, Bokhtar, Kulob, Khujand and Tursunzoda under financial support of the Russian Federation were commissioned on September 1, 2022. 

Two government-to-government agreements on cooperation between Tajikistan and Russia in the field of education were signed in Dushanbe on November 30, 2021.

The documents determine the status of Russian teachers and principles of operation of five Russian-language schools built in Tajikistan under financial support of the Russian Federation.

A government-to-government agreement between Tajikistan and Russia on construction of five Russian-language schools in Tajikistan was signed in Moscow on April 17, 2019. 

Each of these schools accommodates up to 1,200 pupils.