Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Republic of Kosovo, Kyrgyz Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, FYR Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan

Search Penny Hill Blogs

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Uzbekistan: Recent Developments and U.S. Interests

Jim Nichol
Specialist in Russian and Eurasian Affairs

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 cautiously opening the country to 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 the supply of goods for U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan.

Cumulative U.S. assistance budgeted for Uzbekistan in FY1992-FY2010 was $971.36 million (all agencies and programs). Of this aid, $393.0 million (about two-fifths) was budgeted for combating weapons of mass destruction (including Comprehensive Threat Reduction aid) or for Foreign Military Financing. Food, health, and other social welfare and humanitarian aid accounted for $222.4 million (nearly one-fourth), and democratization aid accounted for $174.1 million (nearly one-fifth). Budgeted assistance was $11.34 million in FY2011 and an estimated $12.94 million in FY2012, and the Administration has requested $12.595 million for FY2013 (numbers include funds from the Assistance for Eastern Europe, Eurasia, and Central Asia Account and other “Function 150” foreign aid, and exclude Defense and Energy Department funds).

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; signed into law on December 23, 2011) 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 during 2012.

Date of Report: August 3, 2012
Number of Pages: 23
Order Number: RS21238
Price: $29.95

Document available via e-mail as a pdf file or in paper form.

To Order:

RS21238.pdf  to use the SECURE SHOPPING CART


Phone 301-253-0881

For email and phone orders, provide a Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover card number, expiration date, and name on the card. Indicate whether you want e-mail or postal delivery. Phone orders are preferred and receive priority processing.

Follow us on TWITTER at or #CRSreports