After two decades of disengagement from international entanglements, a newly confident Uzbekistan is seeking a larger role in its Central Asian neighborhood, prompting the United States and Russia to compete for its favor in ways that echo their long-past Cold War rivalry.
Moscow hopes to cement Uzbekistan into its regional bloc, the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), which includes Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. Doing so would preserve Russia’s primacy in Central Asia.
Washington, for its part, aims to keep Uzbekistan out of that bloc while pursuing counterterrorism measures and economic cooperation and promoting Western values.
The long-term impact of the battle for influence remains uncertain, however, since it is another rising superpower — China — that has increased its economic presence most rapidly in Uzbekistan and the region.
Uzbekistan Faces Choice Between Closer Ties to US, Russia _ Voice of America - English
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