Azerbaijan, Baku, July 15 / Trend V. Zhavoronkova /
The U.S. is interested in close cooperation with Uzbekistan, as a Central Asian country is strategically important for the U.S, Russian expert on Central Asia Leonid Gusev said.
The results of cooperation between the U.S. and Uzbekistan were summarized at the end of last week in Washington at a joint business forum. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Robert Blake said that the U.S. invested $500 million in the Republic. He said that there are good opportunities to increase investments.
The expert said that the United States invest in Uzbekistan with an ulterior motive.
"The U.S. is very interested in close cooperation with Uzbekistan", Senior Fellow at the Institute of International Studies of the Russian Foreign Ministry's Moscow State Institute of the International Relations, Gusev, told Trend via e-mail.
The expert said that the Uzbek authorities have recently strengthened the cooperation with the U.S. and other Western countries.
About two years ago, the Uzbek authorities have suspended the close cooperation within the CSTO, SCO and the Eurasian Economic Community. Russian plays one of the most important roles there.
This happens because Uzbekistan did not feel sufficient support of these organizations, for example, allocation of water resources in Central Asia, Gusev said.
Moreover, recent events in Kyrgyzstan have complicated relations with neighboring countries.
Uzbekistan is a strategically important country for the U.S. The main reason for this is the operation in Afghanistan as part of antiterrorist coalition, the expert said.
Now non-military goods are delivered through Uzbekistan to Afghanistan to form NATO troops.
There is a free industrial and economic zone 'Navoi' in Uzbekistan on the border with Afghanistan. It is the main transit point for shipments of goods to Afghanistan.
This zone may soon be transformed into a transcontinental forwarding air point, which will link the Far East, South-East Asia, South Asia and Europe, Gusev said.
The expert that the U.S. plans to build a new military base near the Uzbek border to turn Uzbekistan into an important transit point for access to Afghanistan.
"This complex for special operations must be built in northern Afghanistan, 56 km from the Uzbek-Afghan border. It is planned to build an operational center, living accommodation, the tactical operations center, warehouses, training complex, the center of logistics, the nursery for dogs, etc. within this project," he said.