Wednesday, August 01, 2012 -
Uzbekistan’s lower house of parliament signed off a presidential foreign policy initiative Tuesday that shuns the nation’s participation in any international political and military alliance.
“No integration can be pushed on Uzbekistan externally,” the document read, according to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL).
The legislation also noted that the Tashkent government will not collaborate with any military activities beyond its borders and refuses to host any foreign military bases or soldiers on Uzbek territory.
At the same time Uzbekistan "reserves the right to make alliances, to enter the communities and other inter-state organizations and withdraw from them, guided by the best interests of the state, nation, its prosperity and security," it said.
Nikolai Bordyuzha, secretary of the Moscow-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) said Wednesday the foreign policy revision will have negative results for Tashkent.
Authoritarian Uzbek President Islam Karimov pulled his country out of CSTO in June. Uzbekistan’s latest stint as a member of the post-Soviet regional security pact lasted just six years. The Kremlin-led group was formed in Tashkent in 1992 but Uzbekistan walked out in 1999.
Karimov chose to rejoin in 2006 under withering Western criticism over the Andijan massacre the previous year, but then pulled out of the organization earlier this year, which analysts attribute to his desire to participate with the U.S. in the Northern Distribution Network ferrying military supplies out of Afghanistan.
Andrei Grozin, a Moscow-based expert on Central Asia, told the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) that the country’s foreign policy reversals are due to having an autocrat at the helm whose fluctuating views and moods can change national law.
The Senate is scheduled to discuss the bill at the end of this month. The president is then expected to sign it into law.