Source Pravda.Ru

The GUUAM organisation is most likely dead than alive, is that so?

Uzbekistan will not take part in the summit of the GUUAM inter-state association which will be held in Yalta on July 19-20. This information was confirmed to the correspondent in the Foreign Ministry of Uzbekistan on Thursday. At the present stage, Uzbekistan has suspended its participation in the GUUAM activity, the correspondent was reminded in the Uzbek Foreign Ministry, but "the republic will attentively follow the events in this association," he was assured.

According to a staff-member of the Uzbek Foreign Ministry, Uzbekistan attaches a great importance to strengthening friendly, mutually advantageous bilateral relations with Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldavia and Ukraine.

Foreign Minister of Uzbekistan Sadyk Safayev said earlier that Tashkent had taken a decision to withdraw from the GUUAM organisation "because of the lack of progress in its activity." On the agenda of the GUUAM summit in Yalta there are nine documents, including the agreement on the creation of a free trade zone in the context of the GUUAM, the declaration on stability and security, the regulations for the GUUAM Council of Foreign Ministers and Business Council and the agreements on cooperation in several spheres between the member-countries.

It is expected that the Yalta summit will also take a decision on the status of the observer at the GUUAM. In this connection, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Anatoly Zlenko does not exclude the expansion of this organisation in the future.

Representatives of the USA, Russia, Brazil, Turkey, Iran, Romania, Kazakhstan, Bulgaria and Poland have been invited to the Yalta summit as guests.

During his recent visit to Tbilisi, Romanian President Ion Iliescu said that his country was interested in taking part in the GUUAM organisation as an observer.

The GUUAM also hopes to attract the attention of Bulgaria, Poland and Lithuania. But so far its efforts have turned to be fruitless.

Analysts believe, however, that despite the rather long period of its existence, the GUUAM has failed to carry out at least a single project of the numerous number that were proclaimed by its member-countries.

Analysts explain Tashkent's decision to suspend its participation in the GUUAM organisation by the intensification of its relations with Russia and China within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. Apart from that, Uzbekistan exports its gas now only through Russia.

The communique on the creation of the GUUAM association was signed in October 1997 at the summit of the heads of state of the European Union in Strasbourg by the Presidents of Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldavia. In April 1999, at the G-4 summit in Washington in the context of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of NATO, the decision was taken to admit Uzbekistan to this organisation.