Uzbek President Islam Karimov has warned Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin over the increasing dangers of extremism in Central Asia.
Karimov, who is on a rare trip to Moscow, said the “consequences of the expansion of terrorism, extremism, and religious radicalism could be far worse than open war.”
Russian-Uzbek ties have been strained over Uzbekistan’s decision last year to withdraw for a second time from the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization.
Putin said the two presidents have agreed on the conditions of Uzbekistan’s joining the free trade zone of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
Putin said the relevant protocol will be signed during the CIS prime ministers’ meeting in Minsk next month.
Based on reporting by AFP and Interfax