DUSHANBE, September 24, 2012, Asia-Plus  -- Russian president’s visit to Kyrgyzstan and Russian vice-premier’s visit to Tajikistan demonstrate that history of events in Central Asia in 2003-2004 repeats itself, Tajik journalist Nourali Davlat told Asia-Plus in an interview.

He believes that Uzbekistan is becoming the main ally of the United States in the region and Russia wants to bring back Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan to its sphere of influence.

“In 2003, then Russian President Putin promised to invest 2 billion US dollars in Kyrgyzstan’s energy sector and in 2004, Putin promised to invest the same amount in enhancement of Tajikistan’s energy project,” said Davlat.  “But Russia’s relations with Central Asia’s countries seriously changed in 2005 following the Andijan events in Uzbekistan.  Western criticism of Uzbek President Karimov’s policy rose and Uzbekistan returned to Russia’s sphere of influence.”

The expert noted that in 2010, then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev supported his Uzbek counterpart in his fight against the Kambar-Ata and Roghun hydroelectricity projects and relations of the Kremlin with Dushanbe and Bishkek deteriorated.

“Karimov, however, did not change his habits and he went over to Russia’s opponents and Uzbekistan has suspended its membership in the Collective Security Organization (CSTO) again as soon as the West forgave it,” said Nourali Davlat.  “Tashkent court’s decision on nationalization of subsidiary of Russian mobile phone operator, MTS, in tax dispute is also the result of Uzbekistan’s anti-Russia policy.”

Under this situation, the Kremlin has turned eyes on Dushanbe and Bishkek again.  “Putin has again promised fabulous amounts to Kyrgyz and participation of his country in construction of the Kambar-Ata hydropower,” the expert said, adding that it cannot be ruled out that similar proposal will be made to Tajikistan as well.

“If Tajikistan accepts the Kremlin’s proposal, the Uzbek president will face with the choice again: with whom friendship is more profitable – with Russia or the West?  Therefore, the question “What will Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan get if Uzbekistan returns to Russia’s sphere of influence? remains open.”