Uzbekistan Initiative Papers No. 2, February 2014
By Farkhod Tolipov
The foreign policy of the Republic of Uzbekistan has undergone dramatic fluctuations since gaining independence: from being pro-American to being pro-Russian and then back again.
This seemingly erratic shift reflects its two ambivalent and interrelated stances: Tashkent’s perception of the international system as an old stage of power politics— a somewhat Soviet syndrome-; and the uncertain geopolitical situation that emerged in Central Asia after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The international intervention in Afghanistan further confused the doctrinal foundation of Uzbekistan’s foreign policy and revealed Tashkent’s lack of strategic perspective.
As a result, the country adopted a rather isolationist stance in the region, instead of promoting a long-awaited pro-active strategy.