Reuters reports that President Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan has proposed a foreign policy document that bans foreign military bases. The document, which some analysts expect was released to placate Russia, sends a signal that the United States will not be able to re-open their base of operations in Afghanistan. Uzbekistan is also stating it will not participate in any military or political alliances, and would not be involved in international peacekeeping missions.
Russia was ‘irked’ by Uzbekistan’s recent decision to leave the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO or OBKD in Russian), which is the regional counterbalance to NATO. It was one of the more recent in a series of moves by Central Asian nations to assert their own agendas as Russia, China and the US vie for strategic interests in Central Asia. Russia continues to insist that Central Asia cannot provide for its own internal security and that the presence of the CSTO will continue without Uzbekistan.
Despite the aforementioned ban on foreign military bases, there is likely to be a continuance of military cooperation with the United States, including allowing the US to use Uzbek facilities as a base for operations. The presence of the US is a buffer against the influence of Russia and provides money to the Uzbek government, despite the known human rights abuses in the country and authoritarian government.