EU divided over Uzbek sanctions 1

By Stephen Castle in The Independent

Sanctions imposed by Europe on Uzbekistan over human rights abuses are likely to be scaled back this month, prompting divisions over EU efforts to expand its influence in Central Asia.

Although an arms embargo is almost certain to remain in place, there is pressure to lift a visa ban on 12 Uzbek officials, and to unfreeze high-level talks.

The measures were taken in protest at the shooting of at least 180 civilians in Andijan. But unless there is agreement from all 25 EU nations, the sanctions will expire on 17 November.

At a meeting with the EU this week, Uzbekistan is expected to offer to hold a human rights dialogue and to discuss Andijan. Many EU members want a judicial investigation into the massacre, and punishment of those responsible.

But Germany has argued that the visa ban has been ineffective since only eight of those named remain in their posts, and five are in a minor position. Germany’s critics claim that it is motivated by commercial and energy interest in Uzbekistan. But Berlin said a failure to construct a dialogue with Uzbekistan was counter-productive. That position could be supported by France and Spain. However, the UK is pushing for a tough line and said there was a strong case for sanctions to continue.

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One thought on “EU divided over Uzbek sanctions

  • Babajanov

    Dear Mr.Murray

    I would like to inform that your and EU effort in relation to Gulnara Karimova are without effect.

    This summer the restrictions imposed by EU were overcome.

    She has held several meetings with her partners Mr. Eftushenko (Russian billionaire, owner MTS Russian and Uzbek communication company) and Mr. Suleyman Kerimov ( Russian billionaire ) in France to discuss the perspectives of future cooperation.

    I would also like to inform you that currently she is in Switzerland to take the cure for venereal disease.

    Hence, as you can well see,all the efforts you are trying to make to restrict activities of Gulnara Karimova are not effective.

    Should you take you chance to get in touch with Switzerland Government, you'll be surprised to see that she have feel herself comfortable in EU

    I hope you inform EU Government on the situation, and the right decision will be taken.

    With very best wishes.

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