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Germany's Payments For Military Base In Uzbekistan Unveiled

German soldiers wait for their luggage to go through a security check before their flight back to Germany at the air base in Termez in April 2010.
The German Bundestag has released a document that details the government's payments for a military base in Uzbekistan during a period of EU sanctions against Tashkent, RFE/RL's Uzbek Service reports.

A German government document states that from 2005-09, Berlin increased its annual payments to the Uzbek government and paid a total of 67.9 million euros ($95.6 million) for use of the military base in the southern Uzbek city of Termez.

The document shows that in 2005, Germany paid 12.4 million euros ($17.4 million) to lease the base; in 2006 and 2007 it paid 13.3 million euros ($18.7 million) and 14.8 million euros ($20.8 million), respectively.

The lease payment reached 15.2 million euros ($21.4 million) in 2008, dropping back to 12.2 million euros ($17.2 million) in 2009. The payments for the period prior to 2005 and for 2010 were not announced.

The figures were provided in an official government response to a December 2010 request by three members of the German opposition Left Party: Paul Schaefer, Jan van Aken, and Sevim Dagdelen.

Schaefer told RFE/RL that the figures show the German government was sending taxpayer money to one of the most oppressive regimes in the world despite the EU sanctions, which don't specifically prohibit such payments.

Dagdelen told RFE/RL that the payments are an unpleasant surprise and her party will continue to call on the government to end its military cooperation with Uzbekistan.

The EU sanctions against Uzbek government were imposed following the May 2005 Andijon massacre, in which hundreds of protesters were shot dead by Uzbek security forces.

The air base at Temez is used by German and other NATO members for flights related to operations in Afghanistan.