MOSCOW, July 4. /TASS/. Russia welcomes measures taken in Uzbekistan to normalize the situation in the country, the Russian foreign ministry said on Monday, following the situation in Karakalpakstan.
"We welcome measures taken by Uzbekistan’s authorities and are convinced that they will help normalize the situation in this part of the country," it said.
According to the ministry, Moscow is keeping a close eye on the developments in Uzbekistan amid a discussion of constitutional amendments. "We are keeping a close eye on developments in Uzbekistan, our friendly nation, where a nationwide discussion of changes and additions to the country’s constitution is underway based on the authorities’ policy aimed at improving the legal foundations of the state," it said.
The ministry noted that riots in Nukus were provoked by lawbreakers and led to acts of violence and vandalism. "There are casualties, including among Uzbek law enforcers. According to the Russian embassy, Russian nationals were not hurt in Karakalpakstan," the ministry added.
"We insist that any problems should be resolved within the legal frame rather than by means of riots," the ministry stressed.
Mass riots occurred in Karakalpakstan on July 1-2 in protest against plans to change the region’s status in Uzbekistan’s amended constitution. The authorities said that people had been misled in a bid to seize local government agencies. Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev declared a state of emergency in the region and dropped plans to introduce constitutional amendments that would deprive Karakalpakstan of the status of a sovereign republic within Uzbekistan and the right to secede from the country through a referendum.