While Uzbekistan is celebrating the 23rd anniversary of its independence, Moscow is waging war in Ukraine and is openly threatening Kazakhstan, letting everyone know that it has not let any of the former Soviet countries loose yet.
Twelve officials at the National Security Services (SNB), who worked under the Javdat Sharifhodjaev, younger brother of the SNB deputy chair Hajet Sharifhojaev, have been sentenced to lengthy prison terms, reports Ozodlik Radio. (1)
The online campaign “I am not afraid” (i.e., of Islam Karimov and his crony government) – or “Qorqmayman” in Uzbek – is gathering steam with more than five thousand Facebook friends, and has come to the attention of Uzbek authorities.
Toshimitsu Motegi, the Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry, and Uzbek President Islam Karimov met in Tashkent on August 6. Tokyo seems intent on deepening its influence in a region that is being increasingly crowded by its direct competitors. The Japanese Ministry said that the minister wants to support Japanese businesses contemplating entering the Uzbek infrastructure development sector.
A free trade agreement between Uzbekistan and Ukraine that is supposedly going to be created within a year should help compensate Ukraine for the loss of access to Russian consumer markets due to the current political and military conflict between the two countries. However, Pavel Sheremet, the Economic Development Minister of Ukraine, told Uznews.net that at an August 1 meeting with the Uzbek Ambassador to Ukraine the only thing mentioned was the free trade agreement between Uzbekistan and CIS.
Rumors of arrests of two high-ranking SNB officials, brothers Hajet and Javdat Sharifhodjaev, have been floating around Uzbekistan recently. The two officials are thought to be Gulnara Karimova’s main oppressors and her sister Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva’s protectors. (1)