On Thursday, the Ambassador of the United States to Uzbekistan, John Herbst, will transfer to the chairman of the committee for guarding the state border of Uzbekistan eight Russian UAZ-3153 vehicles. The gift to a total of more than $70,000 US, in the opinion of the committee chairman, will considerably extend the possibilities of the frontier-guards in accomplishing the tasks set to them. In April 2000, the US government announced the extension of cooperation with the government of Uzbekistan within the framework of a programme for improving border control in the region of the Central Asian Security Initiative. At the same time the United States promised to grant the country $3 million dollars as aid. The aim of the programme is to assist Uzbekistan in combating terrorism and illegal trade in weapons of mass destruction and conventional arms, as well as drug trafficking. The greater part of the aid has been provided by the programme for controlling exports and the security of the borders. Last year the aid under this programme amounted to $1.85 million. This year's budget allocates $900,000 for communications equipment, $500,000 - for the apparatus meant for observation, spotting and personal protection and for medical equipment, and more than 500,000 dollars - for education and other needs.
U.S. Justice Department is acting behind the scenes to have Assange extradicted from the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, and prosecuted in the U.S.