«The United States change Kyrgyzstan to Uzbekistan in order to achieve its goals in Afghanistan,» Dmitry Zhuravlev, Director General of the Institute for Regional Problems, Candidate of Political Science, said in an interview with «Economy Today.»
«The change of power in Uzbekistan can give hope for a change in relations with the U.S., but the serious penetration of the U.S. into this country, including for solving the Afghan problem, is possible only through the economy,» the expert believes. «But it must be radically rebuilt. It is a big question whether Tashkent will take such measures.»
«And the Uzbeks have different opinions on this issue. The key is that it will not be good to actively use the American money, and this, in fact, is true,» Dmitry Zhuravlev noted.
As for the Afghan issue, the United States and Uzbekistan have mutual interest here. Uzbekistan is the most stable country in the region south of Kazakhstan, and since the Americans are bogged down in Afghanistan, it is interesting for them to come to Uzbekistan to solve this problem.
«There is, of course, Kyrgyzstan, but there are difficulties,» said Dmitry Zhuravlev. «Kyrgyzstan — as a place of arms for work in Afghanistan — is smaller, besides, the Kyrgyz are for an American base on their territory and then — against it.»
In its turn, Uzbekistan needs stabilization of Afghanistan, as Afghan gangs are a serious threat to the country, the expert said.