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From: Justin Burke (
Date: Thu Oct 26 2000 - 09:44:50 EDT

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Uzbek party leaders slam Eurasian Economic Community

On 21st October, the Uzbek newspaper 'Khalq Sozi' published the views of
senior officials of the four Uzbek political parties concerning the
formation of the Eurasian Economic Community. The secretary of the
Fidokorlar (Self-sacrificers) National Democratic Party's Central Council,
Asliddin Boliyev, described the move as "nothing but a pipe dream", saying
that some of its officials were trying to extend their terms of office. The
secretary of the People's Democratic Party's Central Council, Abdulhafiz
Jalolov, said that, with their poor economies, "there can be no talk of
equal cooperation" between its members. The first secretary of the Adolat
Social Democratic Party's Political Council, Turghunpolat Madaminov, said
that the community lacked a firm foundation and so had no future. The
chairman of the Milliy Tiklanish (National Revival) Democratic Party's
Central Council, Ibrohim Ghafurov, questioned the possibility that the
organization might find itself under Russian hegemony. Excerpts from the
article follow:

[Newspaper headline] Saying halvah [will not make one's mouth water - an old
Uzbek proverb meaning that mere words will get one nowhere - action is

[Subheading] The fact that the Customs Union [Russia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan,
Kazakhstan and Tajikistan] was transformed into the Eurasian Economic
Community has been widely debated. Various views are being put forward in
the world media concerning this. So does the community have a future? Our
correspondent put this question to the leaders of the country's political

The secretary of the Central Council of the Fidokorlar [Self-sacrificers]
National Democratic Party of Uzbekistan, Asliddin Boliyev:

The fact that this organization involving a number of CIS states, which was
initially named a union of four and then of five and until recently the
Customs Union, has once again "put on a different coat" indicates that the
organization is intended more to pursue political ends than economic and
practical ones. Considering that an agreement was signed five years ago
between the Customs Union members, the parties that signed the document
should already have had a free trade zone between themselves, in effect.
But it is easy to put things down on paper, and it is hard to put them into
practice. The past five years have proved this. Each state has sought only
its own interests.

A close comparison made between the previous and present agreements of the
organization, which was previously named the Customs Union and currently
the Eurasian Economic Union, indicates that there is nothing new in their
content: There are the same problems and the content is unchanged. The only
thing is that now it sounds attractive.

[Passage omitted: the new name will not change things for ordinary people].

It is true that each state does something only in pursuit of its own
interests. But one thing should never be forgotten. It is nothing but a
pipe dream to want to artificially speed up integration within the CIS
under an attractive name. It seems to me that this move is also linked with
individual ambitions. Some are trying to prolong their terms of office,
while others are unwilling to lose their powers after their terms run out.

The secretary of the Central Council of the People's Democratic Party of
Uzbekistan, Abdulhafiz Jalolov:

To be frank, when I first heard the news that the Eurasian Economic
Community was being set up, I wanted to say: "Saying halvah will not make
one's mouth water." It is true that it is each sovereign state's right to
enter into an agreement or an accord, or to set up a union with another.
However, when the issue involves our neighbours and, what is more, our CIS
parners, it would be wrong for us to remain indifferent.

Attempts to copy others, like the European Community, reminds one of a
baby's attempts to imitate an adult. Efficient international organizations
such as the European Community are unions between countries with relatively
equal development, not only political, but also economic and scientific,
whereas the countries that are party to the newly-formed Eurasian Economic
Community are in no position to boast of their economic development. In
such a situation, there can be no talk of equal cooperation between its
members. Bringing well-off countries closer together is a completely
different thing from a union of poor countries that can hardly manage by

Another issue: Is the CIS, which comprises several European and Asian
states, not an example of a community of Eurasian states anyway? Why have
some CIS countries had to set up separate organizations such as unions of
four or two, instead of realizing the CIS potential to the full and using
its opportunities for economic cooperation? Who and what are the obstacles
to developing the CIS economies? Or are there other intentions behind

[Passage omitted: he says that he favours unions that are based on an equal

The first secretary of the Political Council of the Adolat Social Democratic
Party, Turghunpolat Madaminov:

Does this organization have a firm foundation? It is in this that we must
try to find the essence of the issue. It is easier said than done. Has the
Customs Union resolved any issue? They are all left on paper. Moreover, it
has added more confusion to the essence of things and new contradictions
have arisen. Analysing other aspects of the issue, I do not doubt that the
Eurasian Economic Community is a pipe dream. There is no future for an
organization like this, which lacks a strong foundation.

The chairman of the Central Council of the Milliy Tiklanish [National
Revival] Democratic Party, Ibrohim Ghafurov:

It was the Customs Union yesterday. And today it has been changed into the
Eurasian Economic Community. Interesting, isn't it? So quick to change.
What is meant by such changes? After all, can mutual equality be maintained
in organizations like this? Does the organization not fear that it may find
itself under the hegemony of a great and powerful state [Russia]? The
Russian press said that the five countries involved would have common
economic, social and humanitarian policies. If this is the case, the
countries may lose their independence. Certain analysts described the
Eurasian Economic Union as a big success for Russia. Does this also count
as a success for its other members?

[Passage to end omitted: states should seek more efficiency within one
organization rather than create a new one] [p1,2]

Source: 'Khalq Sozi', Tashkent, in Uzbek 21 Oct 00 p1,2

BBC Mon CAU 251000 ker/sa

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