World » Former USSR
Author`s name Ольга Савка

Western community insists on international investigation of Uzbekistan uprising

Russia takes the side of its Asian neighbor, emphasizing the republic's sovereignty

The Russian administration might quarrel with the West because of the former Soviet republic of Uzbekistan, which has recently made headlines of world newspapers with the massive uprising in the town of Andijan. Spokespeople for the Uzbek government say that some 173 people were killed in the uprising, whereas international organizations and independent observers present a larger number of victims – not less than 500.

The European Union and the US Department of State demand an international investigation should be filed into the Andijan events. It is noteworthy that Washington has had a rather quiet attitude regarding the events in Uzbekistan before. Russia is strongly against such an investigation, although Russian officials persistently say that they possess the trustworthy information about vestiges of foreign participation in the uprising.

Russian Minister for Defense, Sergei Ivanov, stated at yesterday's session of the Russia-NATO Council in Brussels that democracy could not become an object of export: “Democracy can be established solely as a result of the internal development of this or that nation,” the minister said.

”We have the trustworthy information, which says that the Andijan events were originally planned in Afghanistan. A group of armed gunmen from Islamic organizations, including Talibs, was preparing an incursion in Uzbekistan for a long period of time. Conducting an investigation of all details of the uprising, one should find out who organized the mess, with whose help and how. It ultimately goes about the cessation of the international terrorist threat in this strategically importation region,” Sergei Ivanov said.

The Russian Defense Minister clearly outlined Russia's stance in connection with the flaming conflict. “We are against the international investigation. Uzbekistan is a sovereign state. It is the government of the republic, that is eligible for launching the process of the investigation,” Ivanov said. The minister is certain that international organizations should look into the details of the uprising, but not into the actions of the Uzbek government.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan, Elyer Ganiyev, set out his gratitude to the Russian administration for supporting the stance of the Uzbek government regarding the events in Andijan. Moscow virtually turned out to be the only world capital (in addition to Beijing), which expressed solidarity with Uzbekistan's refusal to agree upon the independent international investigation of the bloody Andijan tragedy.

The Russian administration believes that the investigation of Andijan events should have a goal to find out the ties, which the instigators of the uprising could have with international terrorist organizations. “I believe that the UN counterterrorist committee and anti-terrorist structures of the CIS have something to work on at this respect.  There is no such term, an international investigation. The UN and the OSCE do not even have a committee for investigations,” the chairman of the Federation Council's committee for international affairs, Mikhail Margelov said.

The government of Uzbekistan believes that the international community can only play the role of an observer. Local authorities have established a special parliamentary committee for the investigation of the turmoil in Andijan. Uzbek Minister for Foreign Affairs, Elyer Ganiyev, offered to establish a workgroup to watch the committee's activity. The group would consist of spokespeople for US, French, Chinese and Russian diplomatic departments. The Uzbek government apparently hopes to smooth out criticism of the West. “Western governments will not agree to take the side of the Uzbek president. They will not be searching for traces of international terrorists in the republic. Nobody will let them investigate the actions of the Uzbek government, though,” scientist of politics, Aleksei Makarkin said.

On the photo: Russia's Minister For Defense, Sergei Ivanov

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