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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Askar Akayev told about Islam Karimov: “the sword of Damocles over Uzbekistan”

The former President of Kyrgyzstan Askar Akayev told us about Islam Karimov as a person and politics and about whether there is a danger of the Islamization of Uzbekistan after his departure. And the Director of the Institute of CIS countries Konstantin Zatulin suggested, how will relations between Russia and Uzbekistan in case there is a change of power.

photo: Mikhail Kovalev

— How dangerous for the region departure from power of Karimov in Uzbekistan?

— I Islam Karimov nourish a sense of deep respect — said “MK” Askar Akayev. He spent the Uzbekistan through a very difficult quarter of a century and managed to preserve stability in the country. I’m sure he’ll be fine and will work for the good of their country. But in any case, the Uzbek people — hard-working, wise man, and he will be able to choose a worthy leader of his state.

– Is it possible that Karimov did not foresee who will be his successor, and Uzbekistan will fight for power? But we’re talking about the biggest country in the region by population, biggest army, which could fall into dangerous hands…

– I think that this is possible. We all recently saw Karimov successfully at the highest level held in Tashkent SCO summit, the President of the host was cheerful, full of energy and ideas, sharing big plans. Recently elected President for a new term.

So I quite admit that he had not sensed any disease which came as a surprise both for him and for the environment. So no one was preparing a successor, and was not prepared to become one. But I know that Karimov had formed a wise managerial elite, which even in the case of the struggle for power will not allow destabilization.

— What can you tell me about your human relationships with Karimov, as President to President?

— As President, he is a very difficult partner. It’s hard with him to negotiate, he does not love coalitions, some extra obligations. But Karimov was always able to negotiate. And most importantly: if it was possible to agree with him, if he gave a word, not even recorded in the Protocol documents, ” he always held it. This distinguishes it from many other politicians and heads of state. Their promises and decisions he is not changing, what causes the deepest respect.

— How would you assess relations of Uzbekistan under the leadership of Karimov to Russia?

— This relationship is very difficult. Karimov above all puts the sovereignty, so it is cool to any integration processes. He was a member of the CSTO, came out of this organization… It was not included in the Eurasian economic Union. But, on the other hand, he joined the SCO. Probably because it gives additional opportunities to communicate with leaders of other countries and satisfies his curiosity.

Karimov, of course, with great respect to Russia, which recently visited with official visit. Russia took it very respectable and warm. And although he had a difficult relationship with Russia, which wants to have influence, he said that he had the most wonderful relationship with the President of Russia. He said his relations with Russia are based on the relationship with Putin, and Putin, he believes.

I’m sure it will be passed to the new head of Uzbekistan in the future. In the future — because I hope that Karimov will get well and will work for a long time.

— Over all States in the region face the possibility of radical Islamization. What is she to Uzbekistan without Karimov?

This risk hangs like the sword of Damocles, it worries me. It is even in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, which always preached the most liberal Islam and women not wearing the veil. Now Kyrgyzstan is already every fifth woman wears.

And in Uzbekistan, is still more complicated, there is the Ferghana valley — the birthplace of fundamentalist Islam. The centre of its distribution. And Afghanistan and Pakistan are still wandering gangs of the “Islamic forces of Uzbekistan”.

On the territory of the country, Karimov has found a way to protect themselves from such a threat as extremism. And he was able to resist the American attempt to arrange a “color revolution” in the country in 2005. I am sure that even if he did not prepare a successor, all the same, as a strong leader, has entered into power and he surrounded himself with people who can counter this threat.

Read the story “the Death of Islam Karimov was a clinical

– I think that at the initial stage of care Karimov from power in no way affect the relations of Russia and Uzbekistan, — said Konstantin Zatulin. — You need to take into account the fact that Uzbekistan is not our number one partner in the region. In this country the question of whether to be friends or not friends with Russia, there is no controversy or confrontation.

Uzbeks belong to us pragmatic. They earn money in Russia. Not only as workers, but also in bilateral relations. For more they never was, in any Eurasian Union they don’t break.

Karimov in integration associations participated only in order to from inside to be informed about what they’re up to, but not in order to lose even the slightest signs of sovereignty. Therefore, Uzbekistan was part of these organizations, then went out and came in again, but not in order to give these associations a muscular character.

In the near future, regardless of the state of Karimov, Uzbekistan is Oriental affectionate with everyone, including Russia. Whoever came Karimov to replace it will be interested to continue with us normal relations.

Pro-Islamist forces once to come to power can not, although the Ferghana valley is pregnant with radicalism. However, Karimov in 2005, has taught her quite a severe lesson. Came to replace him at first, despite the struggle between them, in any case, to unite in the fight against this threat. The leadership of Uzbekistan when Karimov was brought up in the spirit of secularism. But later attempts of Islamization will be. Including under the influence of the West, which wants democracy in all countries. And in this region democratization, unfortunately, it means Islamization.

Read the article “Islam Karimov, the heir of Tamerlane: the secrets of the President of Uzbekistan”

Media: died Islam Karimov. Chronicle of events

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