“The dramatic convergence of the leadership of Russia and Uzbekistan , recorded in the tone of the meetings of Islam Karimov and President Vladimir Putin and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov, brings its first fruit. According to data from credible sources, the agency “Ferghana.ru reported” very soon Uzbekistan will be ready to sign with Russia rather serious bilateral documents, which may have an impact on the geopolitical “alignment” in the region. “
Do not be surprised that this is not the latest news about the relations between Moscow and Tashkent. With these words began the article “Fergana”, published on our website seven years ago, June 30, 2005.
This was the first time, “Putin’s” closer to Islam Karimov. Just died down a bloody Andijan , the Uzbek president and subjected to Western partners criticized for shooting demonstrators arrived in Moscow for moral support. And the focus of this publication (see the article “Uzbekistan, Russia and NATO: Stages of cooperation and confrontation” ) is a meeting between Putin and Karimov at the Novo-Ogaryovo, the statements that made the two leaders seemed to be very like-minded and totally secure in the knowledge Now that their union is sealed forever.
He spoke at a press conference for journalists , mainly, the head of Uzbekistan. He has long intimidated by Islamic terrorists, the media, seeking to destroy Uzbekistan, and then the whole world, declared the inadmissibility of an international investigation into the Andijan massacre, spoke out against the “colored revolutions” and spread the influence of NATO’s eastward …
Both leaders agreed that the Andijan riots were instigated by Afghanistan and ruled by terrorists, according to Islam Karimov, some “writers and directors,” who “used the religious, extremist, radical forces, which fought so hard in Afghanistan, and so successfully fighting now in Iraq. “ It was a frank attack on the joint conditional “West.” Karimov has clearly swore allegiance to Moscow, hiding under her wing for protection of his regime from outside influence and rebellion from within.
Just a year later he returned to Tashkent, the Organization of Collective Security Treaty.
However, a couple of years, it became clear that Uzbekistan is a member of this organization is only formally: the basic statutes and international treaties signed in the framework of the CSTO, it has not ratified, the joint military activities are not involved.The process of “sluggish” Uzbekistan’s membership in the pro-Russian military bloc ended logical way out of it, announced in late June 2012.
In order to understand why today of Uzbekistan for the second time out of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, it is necessary to remember, which is why he left the organization – then just the Collective Security Treaty, or CST – back in 1999.
CST, which was signed in 1992-th and came into force in the 1994th, joined more than half of the former Soviet republics – Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Belarus. At first it was not even an organization as well – a piece of paper, an agreement of intent to allow States to accept this document as long as desired to look closely to each other without any mutual obligations. Five years later, it became clear that the road-track countries, united in CST gradually diverge. And in the ninety-ninth, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and Uzbekistan from the Treaty gone, fixing his attitude in the new “block” - the GUUAM .
Strictly speaking, this is an interstate association then it was also quite shaky, especially regional , logically include only countries of the Caspian-Black Sea region, and Uzbekistan, which seemed to do it was absolutely nothing. I think that attracted Tashkent in GUUAM is the orientation of the Union for Europe and NATO. In other words, Karimov was not the need, Moldova and Ukraine to participate in one of them a symbolic club as a bridge to Europe. More and more giving up on an aging Yeltsin and economically unstable Russia, Islam Karimov has relied on the successful partnership with the West, saw in him, and security guarantees, and are much more likely than those from Moscow, the flow of financial investment.
Laudatory rhetoric Karimov to the U.S. and NATO has increased substantially in the early 2000s, when the anti-Taliban coalition forces entered Afghanistan. In April 2002 President of Uzbekistan said that the U.S. has done for his country that could not make the CIS partners. Karimov openly “nails it” most of these partners, accusing them that they were limited to “bare statements” about the fight against terrorism, and the practical steps taken only anti-terrorist coalition. ”The decisive role in removing tension and danger on the southern borders of Uzbekistan was played exclusively U.S., their determination and well-trained armed forces, and not parties to the Treaty on Collective Security,” – said Karimov.
However, very soon, “guuamovsky” bridge collapsed: Uzbekistan started to ignore the activities of the organization and finally left the bloc in May 2005, apparently fearing the export of “color” revolutions, and the year occurred two years earlier, respectively, in Georgia and Ukraine. Thus, the West, the United States and NATO were needed Karimov only as long as they do not interfere in his personal affairs and do not constitute a threat to his regime.
“We are friends with you, if you do not cry too much about human rights and political reform” – is the key to understanding the relations between Tashkent and the conditional “democratic West”. In relations with Russia and the pro-Kremlin blocks operates another rule: “give us money, but does not strangle us in our allied arms.”
Of course, such as the formation of the SCO and CSTO virtually no threat to the regime of Islam Karimov did not carry. But even with them, especially to overcome the contradictions between the band members, there is no. The Central Asian CSTO members have far more problems in the relationship among themselves than the general trends of development and cooperation. And in the very center of this tangle of contradictions is Uzbekistan, the only leader who is organically incapable of multilateral trade-offs. That is why sources in Tashkent argue out of the block “to a focus on bilateral contacts with the partners.” That’s why some shrewd observers see Karimov’s resignation from the CSTO more pluses than minuses .
The transition from the integration model to those most “bilateral contacts” means nothing more than a desperate desire to Uzbekistan on their own, without the obligations of the group, to “deal” with its neighbors, among which the most problematic for Tashkent Dushanbe remains first and foremost. “The tension in the Uzbek-Tajik relations reminds the “cold war”, - wroteback in 2008, unfortunately, too early deceased, Sanobar Shermatova. - Without increasing the degree of trust between the two countries, no integration initiative, in which Russia is interested, including the projects of the Eurasian Economic Cooperation, will not work. This circumstance makes Moscow has leverage in Central Asia, to seek ways to reconcile recalcitrant neighbors. “
It seems that these “searches” without success. Moscow is not there either looking for or were too naive in the hope that after the bloody Andijan, the Uzbek leader would meekly accept all of its initiatives. Or against integration is the very life, the realities of the post-Soviet political landscape. In particular – a stern authoritarian (read – egoism) of the Central Asian rulers.In fact, according to the exact observation of the same Sanobar Shermatova made back in 2004, “the relationship of the elite of the CIS to the limit personified: Do not get on with the head – do not wait for mutual understanding between nations.”
Islam Karimov – exactly the kind of person who gets along with great difficulty with other presidents. And at that moment, when Uzbekistan is again very necessary to the NATO countries, Karimov can not use this chance, at least, to strengthen its regional neighbors, in defiance of the authority-competitors.
So begins a new cycle of isolation from the Tashkent CIS partners and enhance cooperation with the most “conventional West.” Especially now that the U.S. and Europe virtually abandoned the excessive criticism of the Uzbek authoritarianism and, in fact, Karimov pledged to support and respect the status quo of the political regime. This position of the “West” looks for the Uzbek dictator’s far more attractive than the Kremlin’s policy, which set the Eurasian integration, and thus often deterring some “too independent” neighbors.
In other words, the same conditional West, yesterday tried to re-naive Asian Khan Karimov, planting his democratic manners such as “political competition” and “open society”, is now completely changed his tactics, declaring, in effect, a complete “non-interference in internal affairs.” Such and such States of the West, finally closed their eyes to human rights violations and other dictatorial mess back in “the camp”, Islam Karimov, is much nicer than the neo-imperial policies fledgling Putin’s Kremlin, step by step dominates for a post-Soviet periphery.
This does not mean the break in relations between Tashkent and Moscow itself, the “dear Vladimir Vladimirovich,” at least as long as he sits in the Kremlin. However, the yield of the Collective Security Treaty Organization in Uzbekistan indicates the next failure of attempts to entice Moscow Islam Karimov in a strategic paramilitary club under his reign. And the fact that relations between Uzbekistan and Russia, CSTO and “conditional West” now back on ten years ago – about 2002. For how long? Until the next “Andijan”?