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(RFE/RL) May 25, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Pro-government media in Uzbekistan report authorities have launched a criminal investigation into the U.S.-headquartered Counterpart International nongovernmental organization.


Press-uz.info today quotes the Tashkent prosecutor's office as saying the organization is accused of carrying out illegal publishing activities.


An Uzbek court on May 4 already ordered the closure of a number of Counterpart International offices in the country.


In a press release issued on May 7, the group said it had no option but to abide by the court’s ruling and begin dissolving its programs in Uzbekistan.


Counterpart International says that, since it began operations in Uzbekistan in 1995, it has delivered over $100 million worth of assistance in support of government efforts to develop health care, build new infrastructure, and improve access to drinking water.

Uzbekistan, Russia, And The West

President Karimov (left) with Russian President Putin in July 2005 (epa)

BETWEEN EAST AND WEST: One of the ramifications of the May 2005 bloodshed in Andijon has been a souring of relations between Tashkent and the West, accompanied by a raproachment between Uzbekistan and Russia. Following sharp U.S. and European criticism of the Andijon crackdown, Uzbekistan kicked the United States out of the Karshi-Khanabad air base and began actively courting Moscow.
"Today, we are reaching an unprecedented level in our relationship," Uzbek President Islam Karimov said during a November 2005 summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, at which the leaders signed a strategic-partnership agreement. "I understand and we all understand in Uzbekistan that it is unprecedented that Russia signs such a partnership agreement with Uzbekistan."


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THE COMPLETE STORY: A dedicated webpage bringing together all of RFE/RL's coverage of the events in Andijon, Uzbekistan, in May 2005 and their continuing repercussions.


CHRONOLOGY

For an annotated timeline of the Andijon events and their repercussions, click here.

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