What was expected so happened. Although all this could have happened earlier, Uzbekistan has just now joined the CSTO.
In 1992, in the wake of the gathering of the deceased union, Uzbekistan signed the Collective Security Treaty. Later, when Uzbekistan did not receive tangible benefits from participation in the Treaty, and Russia did not give money, and she herself was not in a better financial position. After the famous 1998, the situation has only worsened. Being in alliance with Russia was simply not profitable. What led to the conversion of their views in the direction of a new emerging union GUUAM. But again, instead of economic preferences, Uzbekistan received an ideological alliance, which was not engaged in anything but criticism of Russia. Islam Karimov remained true to himself and also withdrew from this Union.
After September 11, 2001, Uzbekistan once again lost the opportunity to use its geostrategic position. For a certain amount, Mr. Karimov opened the airspace of his country for the passage of US aircraft conducting an anti-terrorist operation in Afghanistan. Having finally believed in financial stability through American cooperation, the president gave the go-ahead to deploy the American military in Khanabad. The base in Khanabad naturally cost money too. However, when Uzbekistan received Andijan and US criticism for its actions in suppressing the uprising, it was obvious that Karimov would soon announce that the republic would join the CSTO and demand the withdrawal of the US military from Khanabad. Power was a sweeter substance than money. Moreover, the Russian politicians, having made trips to Uzbekistan, offered Karimov to join the EurAsEC, the CSTO, to get certain benefits from this entry, appropriate economic programs, financial benefits.
Russia emerged from the beginning of the crisis itself is actively developing, thereby showing the ability and ability to help Uzbekistan. Kazakhstan during this time has become the main regional locomotive, the economic success of which possibly exceeds the Russian ones. It is also known that the tacit struggle between Nursultan Nazarbayev and Islam Karimov for leadership in Central Asia, which means that the gap between Kazakhstan was evident, could not but affect the president of Uzbekistan. Further more. The rolling "color revolutions" in the CIS countries, and even more so in neighboring Kyrgyzstan, gave a potential reason for changing the financial backer. Certainly, the president of Uzbekistan understood this all, but also understood that the condition for the presence of the Americans was not to join the pro-Russian blocs. There was no reason to break the relationship. Andijan became such an occasion, especially since the United States began to insist on an independent investigation of the May events. The authoritarian state loves power. The prospect of losing her death is similar. The only opportunity to preserve power was a rapprochement with Russia, all the more important that it supported the policy of Karimov.
Having an economic priority, Karimov quickly designated his entry into the EurAsEC, but paused with the CSTO. And only after receiving guarantees of financial gain, he declared his readiness to join. As the Agency of National News reported, the CSTO source confirmed that joining the organization would bring considerable benefits to Uzbekistan, primarily in financial terms. “Uzbekistan will have the opportunity on preferential terms to purchase military products produced in the Organization’s member states, including Russia. He will receive the right to prepare his military personnel in high schools of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation and other CSTO member states on a preferential, free of charge basis. Even rough estimates say that we are talking about tens of millions of rubles of preferences, ”said the source.
The accession to the CSTO was not prevented by the arrival in Uzbekistan of Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher. No one could explain the purpose of the visit. It is clear that Boucher could offer to postpone his entry into the CSTO, promising any compensation. Most likely, Karimov did not hear anything concrete in order to back down. The last move by Boucher failed. An equivalent replacement for joining the CSTO, the US State Secretariat, was not proposed. It was not possible to come together on key issues, but this does not mean that they will not be able to find points of contact. During the visit, Boucher stressed that the White House is ready for dialogue. President Karimov would also like to benefit from this cooperation.
Moscow, on the other hand, is looking for preferences so that Tashkent, in addition to membership, will be included in existing projects. At a press conference in Moscow, CSTO Secretary-General Nikolai Bordyuzha said that “Uzbekistan has assumed all obligations within the framework of our Organization since the renewal of its membership in the CSTO. After the relevant domestic procedures, the Armed Forces of Uzbekistan will participate in the troop grouping that is currently deployed in the Central Asian region. ” Perhaps, the willingness to assume the designated obligations and sign all the necessary documents, another attempt by Karimov to shift the financial security burden and set up the CSTO to be able to be directly present in Uzbekistan. Apparently, Karimov took the threat to his rule seriously. This is confirmed by the tough reaction to the Andijan speeches and the Treaty on Allied Relations signed last November. It seems that this agreement, according to which an attack on Uzbekistan became equivalent to an attack on Russia, is of primary importance to Karimov in ensuring his security. The President of Uzbekistan is under no illusions from the CSTO and the SCO, seeking to obtain in these unions more financial benefits than security guarantees. With this agreement, Karimov enlisted the support of Russia for an influential state, which if, what happens, at least politically intercedes for Uzbekistan. In the next year and a half, Uzbekistan will have to ratify about 70 documents and agreements within the framework of the CSTO, which it will certainly do on time and not earlier. The CSTO is not EurAsEC, and Uzbekistan has the most powerful army among the other five countries in the region and it’s more important for Karimov to get arms on soft loans than to actively participate in CSTO operations. It is the degree of participation in the operations of the CSTO that can become the subject of bargaining with American representatives. As it was with respect to the SCO, where Uzbekistan joined, primarily for economic reasons, and for a long time remained an statistician of the organization in the military-political sphere. The changes occurred in 2003, when Uzbekistan agreed to the deployment of the SCO Antiterrorist Structure in Tashkent.
While it is clear that the US does not think to buy the activity of Uzbekistan. The Uzbek leader enthusiastically took up his membership in the CSTO and EurAsEC, again emphasizing the importance of the economic component, even in the military sphere.
Anyway, the struggle for finances, benefits and loans will not affect the CSTO. Uzbekistan received benefits and loans, financial encouragement to join, protection of Russia and security guarantees. The transaction took place, everyone was happy. It only remains to hope that there will not be another 1998 and the sponsors will have enough money to finance Uzbekistan.