|Titel:||Uzbekistan: Recent Developments and U.S. Interests|
|Verlag:||Congressional Research Service|
Uzbekistan gained independence at the end of 1991 with the breakup of the Soviet Union. The landlocked country is a potential Central Asian regional power by virtue of its population, the largest in the region, its substantial energy and other resources, and its location at the heart of regional trade and transport networks. The existing president, Islam Karimov, retained his post following the country’s independence, and was reelected in 2000 and 2007. He has pursued a policy of caution in economic and political reforms, and many observers have criticized Uzbekistan’s human rights record.
The United States pursued close ties with Uzbekistan following its independence. After the terrorist attacks on the United States in September 2001, Uzbekistan offered over-flight and basing rights to U.S. and coalition forces. However, U.S. basing rights at Karshi-Khanabad were terminated in 2005 following U.S. criticism and other actions related to the Karimov government’s allegedly violent crackdown on unrest in the southern city of Andijon. Since then, the United States has attempted to improve relations, particularly in support of operations in Afghanistan. In 2009, Uzbekistan began to participate in the Northern Distribution Network of land, sea, and air transit routes from Europe through Eurasia for U.S. and NATO military supplies entering and exiting Afghanistan.
Cumulative U.S. assistance budgeted for Uzbekistan in FY1992-FY2010 was $971.36 million (all agencies and programs). Of this aid, about two-fifths was budgeted for combating weapons of mass destruction (including Comprehensive Threat Reduction aid), Foreign Military Financing, counter-narcotics, Partnership for Peace, and anti-crime support. Food, health, and other social welfare and humanitarian aid accounted for nearly one-fourth, and democratization aid accounted for nearly one-fifth. Budgeted assistance was $11.3 million in FY2011 and $16.7 million in FY2012, and the Administration has requested $11.6 million for FY2014 (these latter amounts include foreign assistance listed in the Congressional Budget Justification for Foreign Operations, and exclude Defense and Energy Department funding; country data for FY2013 are not yet available).
In FY2003 foreign operations appropriations (P.L. 108-7) and thereafter, Congress prohibited foreign assistance to the government of Uzbekistan unless the Secretary of State determined and reported that Uzbekistan was making substantial progress in meeting commitments to respect human rights; establish a multiparty system; and ensure free and fair elections, freedom of expression, and the independence of the media. In FY2008, Congress added a provision blocking Uzbek government officials from entering the United States if they were deemed to have been responsible for events in Andijon or to have violated other human rights. Consolidated Appropriations for FY2012 (P.L. 112-74) provides for the Secretary of State to waive conditions on assistance to Uzbekistan for a period of not more than six months and every six months thereafter until September 30, 2013, on national security grounds and as necessary to facilitate U.S. access to and from Afghanistan. Such waivers have been issued.