Uzbekistan after Karimov: a EU on the sidelines?
On August 29, news broke of the death of the President of Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov, at the age of 78. Amid conflicting reports on the status of the president’s health, ranging from ‘full vigor’ to a possible stroke, it soon became clear that there was no succession plan to speak of in place. The country’s Independence Day celebrations scheduled for September 1 were cancelled, causing states which had prepared to send celebratory delegations to scramble to formulate an entirely different diplomatic response. Born in Samarkand in 1938, Karimov joined the Communist Party in 1964. The longest-ruling leader of any state in the post-Soviet space, he has run the Uzbek SSR and then an independent Uzbekistan since 1989, having been reelected in 2000, 2007, and 2015. The fallout after Karimov’s death, who was a skilled power broker between the country’s various clans and ethnic groups — be it an orderly succession, a power struggle among the elites, or even a civil war scenario — will most certainly be closely watched by leaders of neighboring states who are likely crafting strategies for a generational change in leadership themselves.
Kazakhstan’s Role in International Mediation under First President Nursultan Nazarbayev
Executive Summary In the past decade, Kazakhstan has emerged as an important player in the world of mediation of international disputes. Its role in convening the Astana talks on Syria […]
Discovering Opportunities in the Pandemic? Four Economic Response Scenarios for Central Asia
Executive Summary The COVID-19 crisis represents not only an unprecedented economic disruption but also an opportunity for Central Asia. A specific economic policy response may trigger either game-changing reforms that […]
A Steady Hand: The EU 2019 Strategy & Policy Toward Central Asia
Executive Summary The launch of a new EU Strategy for Central Asia in June 2019 marked a milestone in the gradual development of relations between the EU and the region. […]