By Hasanboy Burhanov (founder and leader of political opposition movement Erkin O’zbekiston/Free Uzbekistan)
Is the “C5+1” format German in nature, regarding the upcoming meeting in Berlin?
On Friday, September 29th, a meeting will take place in Berlin between the leadership of Germany and the presidents of Kazakhstan – Tokayev, Kyrgyzstan – Japarov, Tajikistan – Rahmon, Turkmenistan – Serdar Berdymukhamedov, and Uzbekistan – Mirziyayev.
This gathering of all the heads of Central Asian countries with a member of the European Union is happening for the first time. Additionally, the Asian guests will participate in an economic forum organized by the Eastern Committee of German Business (Ost-Ausschuss der Deutschen Wirtschaft), of which Michael Harms serves as the executive director.
As noted by the Federal Chancellor Scholz’s press service, the discussions during the negotiations will revolve around strengthening regional and economic cooperation.
This is precisely what Harms was talking about in Dushanbe in early September this year. Participating in the Tajikistan-Germany Investment Forum, the executive director noted: “As an alternative to Russia, German companies intend to enter the Central Asian markets.
Michael Harms, who has long-standing and close ties with the Putin regime, is among the influential Russian lobbyists in Germany. They have not only influenced their own country but also the entire Europe into dependency on Russian gas.
Last year, when Putin’s favorite criminal oligarch Alisher Usmanov was trying to get EU sanctions lifted, along with Hungarian Prime Minister Orban, Turkish President Erdogan, Kazakh President Tokayev and Uzbek President Mirziyayev, patrons of the Eastern Committee of the German Economy Michael Harms and Manfred Grundke tried unsuccessfully to influence the German leadership to get Usmanov out of sanctions.
Last year, considering Russia’s war against Ukraine, there was a suspicious surge in pro-Russian business activities in the Central Asian region. Given that none of the five republics have condemned Russia’s aggression against Ukraine to this day and have actively assisted the Putin regime in circumventing international sanctions, European investments in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan can be seen as indirectly supporting the Putin regime.
At the upcoming meeting of Central Asian presidents with the leadership of Germany, the political opposition movement “Erkin O’zbekiston” strongly recommends that Federal President of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz address the following fundamental issues:
– The presidents of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan must immediately cease aiding the Putin regime in circumventing international sanctions.
– The presidents of Kazakhstan – Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Kyrgyzstan – Sadyr Japarov, Tajikistan – Emomali Rahmon, Turkmenistan – Serdar Berdymukhamedov, and Uzbekistan – Shavkat Mirziyayev should publicly condemn Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine and prohibit Kremlin propaganda in their countries.
– Action must be taken on tangible improvements in the freedom of speech, freedom of the media, journalist safety, and human rights in Central Asian countries, including an end to persecution based on political, religious, or other criteria.
– They must allow the admission of opposition parties and movements in exile to participate in parliamentary and presidential elections in their respective countries.
Otherwise, German investments in the Central Asian region will contribute to the strengthening of the Putin regime and the realization of its project to revive the USSR.
President Joe Biden U.S. Department of State Bundespräsident Bundesregierung Olaf Scholz MFA of Ukraine Шавкат Mirziyoyev Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Uzbekistan Aqorda Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Kazakhstan Администрация Президента КР Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic Хадамоти матбуоти Президенти Тоҷикистон Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Tajikistan