Recently, Kun.uz conducted an interview with the Chairman of the Liberal Democratic Party of Uzbekistan Aktam Khayitov and asked his opinion about the EAEU membership.
“In this regard, firstly, we must not forget about the interests of Uzbekistan, and secondly, the interests of the electorate of our party. Let’s look at the historical aspect of this issue. It has been studied by experts for three years. Undoubtedly, Uzbekistan is interested in this organization.
This issue was not reinforced with the arrival of the Federation Council Chairperson Valentina Matviyenko. If you remember, in June of this year, our president at a Senate meeting focused on this issue. He noted that we must improve the quality of our products, since 70% of trade falls on the EAEU countries.
This issue was also raised during a visit to Belarus in August. The joint statement by the presidents also illustrates to what extent Uzbekistan is cooperating with the community on the example of Belarus.
One of the leaders of our party yesterday seriously reacted to this - how legitimate the statement on equating the EAEU with the USSR will be decided by the people. Since no one will advocate a return to the USSR. The Russian president has also repeatedly said that the EAEU does not have such a goal.
We must not forget that the initiator of the EAEU formation was not Russia, but Nursultan Nazarbayev. I want to assure you that Uzbekistan will never lose independence.
In December 2016, our President, as a candidate from UzLiDeP, received the majority of the votes of our people. In the foreign policy, he follows a constructive, pragmatic approach. That is to say, he puts the interests of Uzbekistan in the first place. We are sure that he did not make a single decision contrary to the interests of Uzbekistan and will not do this in the future.
Since up to 70% of our trade falls on the EAEU member countries, cooperation with this alliance will, in the first place, have a positive impact on foreign trade. For example, now we export agricultural products for about $2 billion. In the future, we want to bring this figure up to $10 billion. To do this, we must create the same conditions as in other countries. Our cooperation with the Union will bring us economic benefits.
Thirdly, migration issues. 90% of our people working abroad are in the countries of the Eurasian Union. The conditions created for our citizens working abroad are more unfavorable than for the labor force of the Union countries. Our citizens spend more. A migrant from our country spends more than $1,000 per year in comparison to a migrant from Kyrgyzstan.
Fourthly, the issue of a single transport corridor. The bulk of our products on the world market are in these countries.
From a political point of view, Uzbekistan has a strong leader. We have a leader, who wisely defends the interests of Uzbekistan with a wise foreign policy. Within the framework of the Eurasian Union, he will be able to put Uzbekistan’s interests at the highest level and will not allow any actions that could undermine our political independence,” Aktam Khayitov said.
It should be recalled that during an official visit to Tashkent earlier this month, Chairperson of the Upper House of the Russian Parliament Valentina Matviyenko said that Uzbekistan is considering joining the Eurasian Economic Union. Then it turned out that this issue is on the agenda for the next three years, and a special Working Group is created to study it.
Earlier, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev at a Senate plenary meeting compared the advantages and disadvantages of joining the EAEU. After a while, he paid an official visit to Belarus and based on their experience, he considered the possibility of cooperation between Uzbekistan and the EAEU.
Also, the First Deputy Chairman of the Senate of Oliy Majlis Sodik Safoyev in response to this question said that Uzbekistan will never sign any agreements that contradict the country’s national interests.
Deputy Director of the Institute for Strategic and Regional Studies (ISRS) under the President of Uzbekistan Sanjar Valiyev, at an interview with Kun.uz, noted that he does not consider the EAEU a politicized organization.
On the eve of the elections to representative bodies, the leader of the “Milliy tiklanish” Democratic Party Alisher Kadirov opposed joining the EAEU and said that it is an Economic Union with political goals. The leader of the “Adolat” Social Democratic Party Narimon Umarov, in turn, said that the party supports Uzbekistan’s entry into the EAEU, but this decision must be carefully “analyzed and weighed up”.