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Analyst says Uzbekistan should steer clear of 'color revolutions'

An analyst recalls that Uzbekistan back in 2005 saw a color coup attempt, which President Islam Karimov firmly suppressed

MOSCOW, August 30. /TASS/. Uzbekistan should do its utmost to steer clear of any "color revolution" scenarios, the director of the International Institute of Newly-Established States Alexey Martynov has told TASS.

The Uzbek government on August 28 said President Islam Karimov, 78, was taken to hospital. The day before his daughter, Lola Karimova-Tillyayeva, said on her Instagram page that her father had suffered brain hemorrhage and placed in intensive care. His condition was described as stable. Later, some mass media said Karimov had died, but no official confirmation followed.

"Uzbekistan is unlikely to change its policy vector," Martynov said. "Russia and Uzbekistan are within the same geopolitical space. Uzbekistan has firm integration bonds with our country. Karimov managed to maintain a good relationship with Russia, with China and with the neighboring Central Asian states - Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan."

"This policy will be continued to this or that extent, whoever may take over," Martynov said.

He recalled that Uzbekistan back in 2005 saw a color coup attempt, which Karimov "firmly suppressed with reliance on the letter and spirit of the law and his personal authority." "It was the sole instance in the whole post-Soviet space of a government coup attempt to have been quashed by a strong and responsible government."

"As the current president experiences health problems and there is a situation of uncertainty in the country, the US political technologists who were behind the abortive coup in Uzbekistan in 2005 may feel the temptation to have another try. This is really dangerous," he believes. "In that sense we might furnish all required assistance to the Uzbek authorities in terms of resistance to the so-called "color technologies," Martynov said.

He pointed out that the Russian leadership would certainly not intervene in the affairs of a friendly and sovereign state. "We’ve never done that before and will not do anything like that in the future," he said. "As for any other assistance is concerned, including resistance to ‘color’ technologies, it will certainly be provided."

"The Uzbek security services should pay the closest attention to the US embassy in Tashkent and keep an eye on what is happening there, who enters the building and who walks out of it and if the Americans are up for something," Martynov said.

Prospects of Uzbekistan’s regional policies

"Any country pursues its own national interests first and foremost in any formats and projects. Uzbekistan is not an exception," Martynov said. "It is in Uzbekistan’s national interests to have good relations with all neighbors - Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan and, what is most important, with Kazakhstan, Russia and China. Such a neighbor as Afghanistan is a great problem and danger for Uzbekistan. It should compensate for the threats and challenges coming from there with good relations with China and, which is still more important, with good-natured and friendly relations with Russia."

"All positive moments, as well as prospects for the Uzbek elite are connected with the China-Kazakhstan-Russia triangle," Martynov believes.

At this point one can expect quite a few theories and speculations as to who may lead Uzbekistan after Karimov. At this point discussing likely successors might be not very ethnical. True, the man may be gravely ill, but he is alive," Martynov said.

"Uzbekistan is a self-sufficient, one hundred percent oriental, Asian country with a secular system of government," he said. "Should the need for identifying a successor arise, that will be done through a consensus of the elites. Apparently, an election will be called. This is a lengthy procedure. In any case one should wish Uzbekistan and its people to see no color revolution scenarios.".