Uzbekistan Aims to Boost Its Military Capabilities

by Derek Bisaccio, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev. Photo by Yolkin Shamsiddinov/uza.uz

Since the death last year of Uzbekistan President Islam Karimov, Uzbekistan has made headlines as its new president, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, seeks to reform much of the country by liberalizing the economy, improving the country’s human rights image, and smoothing relations with neighbors in Central Asia. While many observers of the country have been cautious about raising expectations of real reform, given structural constraints, Uzbekistan has released numerous prisoners, removed individuals from a “black list,” and signaled a willingness to end the practice of using forced labor in cotton production. President Mirziyoyev has made a point of engaging with neighboring countries, especially Kyrgyzstan, over disputed topics, such as border delineation and water usage. Continue reading

Moscow and Bishkek Discuss Second Russian Base in Kyrgyzstan

by Derek Bisaccio, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev (L) meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) in Sochi in September 2017 to discuss bilateral cooperation. Source: Russian presidency website

Russia and Kyrgyzstan are discussing the possible establishment of another Russian military base in Kyrgyzstan, amid a renewed Russian emphasis on the security environment in Central Asia. The Russian military currently operates a military air base at Kant, near the capital, Bishkek, and the two sides are considering a second that would be located in southern Kyrgyzstan. Continue reading