It would seem that German foreign policy, which often emphasizes exports at the expense of human rights, is pushing up against the point of diminishing returns when it comes to Uzbekistan.
Until very recently, Germany generally went easy on Uzbek President Islam Karimov’s regime, a government ranked among the most repressive on earth by various watchdog groups. A variety of economic and strategic interests encouraged this ‘tread softly’ approach. Berlin, for instance, was (and still is) interested in opening new pipeline routes out of Central Asia in order to diminish the European Union’s dependence on Russian energy. German diplomats also were on the lookout for ways to boost trade in ways that benefited German manufacturers. In addition, the German military was eager to retain access to a military base at Termez, near the Uzbek-Afghan border.
To read the full story
Cornelius Graubner is a Central Asian policy expert affiliated with the Central Eurasia Project of the Open Society Foundations (OSF) in New York. EurasiaNet publishes under OSF’s auspices.
Uzbekistan: German Executives Souring on Uzbekistan