LONDON (Agencies) - Tajikistan is losing the battle against the flow of drugs from neighbouring Afghanistan and is characterised by cronyism and corruption emanating from the president downwards, reports the Guardian. A series of leaked US diplomatic dispatches released by WikiLeaks paint a bleak picture of Central Asias poorest state. They note that it suffers from earthquakes, floods, droughts, locusts and extreme weather and is situated next to obstructive Uzbekistan, unstable Afghanistan and the rough, remote Pamir mountains next to western China. But Tajikistans worst obstacle is the countrys venal president Emomali Rahmon, diplomats say. A secret cable dated 16 February 2010, from the US embassy in Dushanbe, Tajikistans capital, describes how Rahmon runs the ex-Soviet republics economy for his own personal profit: From the president down to the policeman on the street, government is characterised by cronyism and corruption. Rahmon and his family control the countrys major businesses, including the largest bank, and they play hardball to protect their business interests, no matter the cost to the economy writ large. As one foreign ambassador summed up, President Rahmon prefers to control 90pc of a ten-dollar pie, rather than 30pc of a hundred-dollar pie. Tajikistans sole industrial exports are aluminium and hydroelectricity. But most of the revenues from the technically state-owned Tajik Aluminium Company (Talco) end up in a secretive offshore company controlled by the president, the cable states, adding dolefully: The state budget sees little of the income. Tajikistan is of growing importance to the US as a military supply route for the US army in next-door Afghanistan. But attempts to stop the endless traffic of Afghan heroin in the other direction, to Europe and to Russia, have so far come to nothing, the cables say. Last year Dushanbe intercepted only 5pc of the 40 tonnes of Afghan opiates smuggled to Russia, the cable says, noting: Corruption is a major problem. In addition, Tajikistans largely conscript border guards are poorly trained, poorly paid, under-equipped and often under-fed. In an entertaining cable the US ambassador in Tajikistan Richard E Hoagland describes a meeting with President Rahmon soon after he kicked the Russians out. Rahmon explained that Moscow had been using the border guards to orchestrate a coup against him. Chucking away his notes, the president said the Russian special services were bent on causing trouble in Tajikistan. Its coming from the Kremlin, and some of it comes from the top. We can never forget that Putin himself is a 'chekist (career intelligence officer) at heart, the president said. During the two-and-a-half hour meeting, the president expressed gratitude to the US, arguing that it was important for the international community to moderate what he described as Russias 'worst instincts. The cables also reveal that Tajikistan agreed to host a US military base on its territory in defiance of the Kremlin, which regards former Soviet central Asia as a zone of privileged interest and is determined to keep Washington out. The US appears under no illusions about the Kremlins resistance to US encroachment in its back yard. We believe Russia is exerting consistent and strong pressure on Tajikistan to reduce the US and western role and presence, the embassy said in 2006.