Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 64

Uzbek president Islam Karimov bluntly asserted his country’s independence at the summit. Uzbekistan will "never agree to building supra-state structures upon economic ties;" "the countries will never return to any sort of Union…we oppose any association reminiscent of the former Union;" "the Commonwealth is just that, a commonwealth, and one must not demand anything more from it… any forced integration would discredit that very notion;" Lukashenko’s "support for restoring a Union in the form of a confederation or some other form is unattractive to Uzbekistan and other countries." Finally, "NATO is a democratic alliance and its enlargement does not represent any threat to Russia," Karimov insisted, pointedly adding that he had recently discussed with NATO’s visiting General Secretary Javier Solana the subject of NATO-Uzbek military cooperation. (Interfax, RTR, March 28)

Substantiating his view that the primary usefulness of CIS meetings is to promote bilateral relations among independent countries, Karimov signed in Moscow with Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma an agreement to set up a joint commission on economic, military, and humanitarian cooperation. (Uzbek Television, March 29)

Karimov and Nazarbaev were probably the prime targets of Yeltsin’s warning at the summit that CIS countries which turn "90 percent" of their industrial resources over to "foreign" partners can not speak of cooperating with Russia. (Itar-Tass, March 28)

Turkmenistan Opposes Supranational Bodies.