USA Refuses to Pay Uzbekistan / News / News agency Inforos
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USA Refuses to Pay Uzbekistan

for a military base

USA Refuses to Pay Uzbekistan
The US Senate prohibited the Pentagon from making payment to the government of Uzbekistan for the use by the US Department of Defense of the Karshi-Khanabad air base on Uzbek territory.

The corresponding Amendment No. 1978 had been proposed by a group of five US senators headed by John McCain (Republican) in connection with the draft budget for the US defense spending in 2006, being currently considered by the Senate.

Presenting the amendment, senator McCain said that already in summer the Pentagon had informed the Senate of its intention to pay $23 mln to the Uzbek government for the use of the Karshi-Khanabad air base.

In the senator's words, America should not provide financial support to a corrupt repressive state which, besides, is going to expel a US military base.

The approved amendment prohibits making such a payment during the whole forthcoming year, in the course of which the Senate would make a further decision on the expediency of either renewing the prohibition or making the appropriate payment, said McCain.

The reasons the senators gave for their position are Uzbekistan's having requested the USA to quit the Karshi-Khanabad air base and the Uzbek authorities having rejected an international investigation of the Andizhan tragedy.

"It is important to foot the bill, but it is still more important for America to remain America and not give the wrong impression of our shutting our eyes to a carnage" explained senator McCain.

The US air base Karshi-Khanabad (also known as K-2) in Uzbekistan is used for operations in Afghanistan.

The question of removing US military bases from Central Asia was first raised at the SCO summit held in Astana July 5, 2005. Then the leaders of Kazakhstan, Kirghizia, China, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan approved a declaration demanding that the USA and NATO fix a date for withdrawing their contingents from the region.

At the end of July Uzbekistan demanded that the USA leave the K-2 base within 180 days. This move by Tashkent followed criticism leveled by the USA at the Uzbek authorities for their tough suppression of an Islamist uprising in the town of Andizhan on May 13.

At the end of September the USA suspended its annual monetary support to Uzbekistan in the amount of $21 mln, as a sanction for the Andizhan events.
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