The European Union is requesting Uzbek authorities to prevent the re-export to Russia of 45 items that can be used for military purposes. According to the EU’s Sanctions Envoy David O'Sullivan, the Union respects the traditional trade relations of Uzbekistan with Russia.
The European Union respects Uzbekistan's choice to take a neutral position on the war in Ukraine, while asking official Tashkent not to allow sanctions against Russia to be bypassed through Uzbekistan's territory. David O'Sullivan, the EU sanctions representative who came to Tashkent, told Gazeta.uz.
"We fully understand and respect Uzbekistan's sovereignty, Uzbekistan's unwillingness to take sides in this conflict, take sides, or accept sanctions imposed by the international coalition. However, we are concerned that Uzbekistan could be used as a platform to circumvent or evade our sanctions. Officials of Uzbekistan have made it clear that they do not want this. This is the content of our discussions," said the EU official.
David O'Sullivan landed in Tashkent in April this year. He is accompanied by US and UK officials on this visit. They are holding meetings with officials of the Central Bank, the Customs Committee, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Investments and Industry.
"I would like to emphasize that the efforts requested from Uzbekistan are focused on 45 products that make up less than 1 percent of Uzbekistan’s total trade. We do not want to harm Uzbekistan's traditional trade with Russia or its legal trade with Russia - goods that you have always traded with Russia. This will certainly continue. We are concerned about new forms of trade that may result from attempts to circumvent our sanctions. "We do not want to damage the traditional trade routes of Uzbekistan in any way, unless they are related to the goods under sanctions," said O'Sullivan.
According to him, initial positive changes were observed in terms of reduction of re-export through Uzbekistan of goods produced in EU countries and which can be used for military purposes to Russia.
"However, I must say that statistics are not enough at the moment. And within the framework of today's discussions, the Uzbek authorities undertook to provide this information in the next few days. I hope that this is a sign that the trend we saw after our first visit continues to this day," said the EU’s Envoy.
The European Union is preparing to announce the 12th package of sanctions against Russia. According to the media, several companies of Uzbekistan will take part in it. Until now, "Alfa Beta Creative" LLC and "GFK Logistic Asia" LLC, which are registered in Uzbekistan, are included in the sanctions list of the EU.