Rutin seeks support from his Central Asian allies for Russia’s military operation in Ukraine
Russia is seeking support from its trustworthy allies in Central Asia for its military operation in Ukraine.
Kyrgyzstan’s AKIpress reported on February 26 that President Sadyr Japarov had a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss state and prospects of further expansion of bilateral cooperation between their countries.
At the same time, AKIpress, citing the Kremlin, says Sadyr Japarov noted Kiev’s responsibility for its failure to abide by the Minsk agreements and expressed support for the decisive actions undertaken by the Russian side to protect civilians in Donbass.
On February 25, President Putin had a telephone conversation with his Uzbek counterpart Shavkat Mirziyoyev
Press Service of Uzbekistan President says the parties discussed topical issues related to bilateral cooperation between Uzbekistan and Russia.
They reportedly also exchanged views on a number of regional and international issues being of mutual interest.
Meanwhile, the Kremlin stated that Mirziyoyev “expressed understanding regarding the actions taken by the Russian side.”
Eurasianet says the confusion generated by these contradictory accounts prompted Mirziyoyev’s press secretary to issue a clarificatory statement to make Tashkent’s evident unease with events in Ukraine more explicit.
“I would like to emphasize that Uzbekistan takes a balanced, neutral position on this matter,” Sherzod Asadov said in a Facebook post in English, according to Eurasianet.
“All disputes and disagreements that arise must be addressed solely on the basis of the international law norms,” Asadov noted.
Eurasianet notes that the leaders of Tajikistan and Turkmenistan, both of which enjoy strong economic and strategic relations with Russia, are not known to have been in contact with Putin since the invasion began this week. Both countries have reportedly avoided making any public pronouncements on the unfolding situation.