Interview with Uzbek political scientist Farhod Tolipov
At today’s online CSTO summit on the situation in Kazakhstan, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko said that “lessons should be learnt by Uzbekistan.” What do you make of this statement?
This is a direct threat to Uzbekistan. He speaks as if he knows something, while we see nothing, and he is telling us. This alone is a disparagement of Uzbekistan’s dignity on the part of the president of Belarus. If he had sincerely wanted to warn Uzbekistan about the impending threat as a friend, he should have revealed the source of the threat as well.
Could Uzbekistan be next after Kazakhstan?
No, it could not. The reasons and factors behind the unrests in Kazakhstan are practically non-existent in Uzbekistan. Moreover, Uzbekistan is not a member of the CSTO and cannot invite the troops of this organization.
What do you think is happening in Kazakhstan?
“Three-in-one”: a popular revolt, a struggle for power within the elite, and external incitement.
Can the situation in Kazakhstan destabilize the region of Central Asia?
If the CSTO troops stay in Kazakhstan even after the situation has stabilized, it will mean a threat, not peacekeeping. This would be the third Russian/CSTO base in the region. Although destabilization of Central Asia is not in Russia’s interests. Afghanistan has frayed enough of everyone’s nerves, and here we are talking about all of Central Asia…
There has been a feeling in the last few days that there is an ongoing attempt in Kazakhstan’s information field to shift the focus to Kyrgyzstan. Is this really the case? If so, what is the reason?
Kyrgyzstan denies any Kyrgyz involvement in the Kazakhstani unrests, both at the official level and in the society. Shifting the focus to Kyrgyzstan is a very crude and clumsy way of shifting the blame to an external enemy.
Did Kazakhstani President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev make the right call by involving CSTO forces?
No. I believe this decision embittered most Kazakhstanis because it belittled the state’s ability to deal with a threat that was minor on a statewide scale. The state of Kazakhstan, which has always been considered strong and developed in all aspects, which enjoys a high international reputation, should not have demonstrated its inability to defend itself from a bunch of thugs.
Translated from Caliber.Az