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Uzbek Court Snubs Foreign Arbitration

November 21, 2006 -- Uzbekistan's Constitutional Court has ruled that the government should not recognize international arbitration proceedings that foreign investors might launch without its consent.

The decision came on November 20.

The issue was addressed following reports that the U.S. Newmont Mining Corporation had appealed to an international arbitration tribunal against a Nawaiy regional court order in late-September that declared the company's Uzbek joint venture bankrupt.

The Zarafshan-Newmont joint venture had been operating one of the world's largest open-pit gold mines, in Uzbekistan's Qizilqum desert, 400 kilometers west of Tashkent.

Uzbek authorities cited tax arrears allegedly owed by the company to justify the move.


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."


Germany Likely To Leave Uzbek Base

The Geopolitical Game In Central Asia

Uzbekistan: Between East And West

Central Asia: Russia And U.S. Often At Odds In Region

Russian, U.S. Military Bases On Opposite Tracks

Swiss Spokeswoman Explains Arms Ban On Uzbekistan

Putin Defends Ties With Uzbekistan, Belarus, Iran

Uzbekistan: Playing Russia Against The West

Factbox Of Uzbek-Russian Relations

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.


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