In Uzbekistan started the procedure for accession to the Eurasian economic Union (EEU) as an observer. This decision has already supported the lower house of Parliament and head of state signed the document, apparently, is closer to the visit of the President Shavkat Mirziyoyev in Moscow — it is planned for June. Respondents ‘ b ‘ experts suggest that obtaining observer status only the first step, which sooner or later followed by the full-fledged entry.The lower house of the Uzbek Parliament approved the initiative of gaining observer status at the EAEC. Voted by 82 MPs, 32 were against and 14 abstained. Now a similar vote must pass in the upper house of Parliament, and then the document will be signed by the President of the Republic Shavkat Mirzieev. It is expected that this will happen shortly before his planned visit to Russia. To prepare for the foreign Ministers of Russia and Uzbekistan discussed by telephone on April 22. While in Tashkent stressed that the visit will take place “as scheduled”, that is in June.According to Uzbek edition Podrobno.uz, explaining his decision in a special decree, the deputies of the lower chamber argued that “the interaction of Uzbekistan with the EEU” will help to increase exports, to reduce the cost of rail transportation for $220 million and to increase the income of labour migrants by 15-20%. Also mentioned possible negative consequences. “The interaction of our country with this organization will lead to lower production in some sectors of the country, a partial loss of jobs, reduced investment activity and the pace of modernization of economy”,— said in the lower house of the Uzbek Parliament.Meanwhile, the pros and cons mentioned by the deputies who do not belong to the observer status in the EAEC. According to the Treaty on the EAEU (.pdf), the observer state does not assume obligations in addition to non-intentional harm to the members of the Union, and, accordingly, are not entitled to any preferences, except the right “to be present by invitation at the meetings of the organs of the Union” and “to take the organs of the Union documents which are not documents of a confidential nature”.This explanation and the vagueness of wording (e.g. “interaction with the Eurasian economic Union”) has prompted many experts to the idea that in fact the status of an observer only a formal step, soon after which can happen a full membership.”I think in our case, observer status should be considered as pending membership”,— said “Kommersant” the Director of the Uzbek nongovernmental center “Bilim of carvone” Farkhod Tolipov.”You can watch, so to speak, from the outside, because the issues related to the EEU as a whole is clear and understandable. Smokescreen members can create goingbut or unintentionally”, he added.”Shavkat Mirziyoev stood with Pro-Russian positions, largely imitating Vladimir Putin,— said “Kommersant” another Uzbek scientist, Rafael Sattarov.— Therefore, I am convinced that the accession will happen sooner or later. Opponents of this idea there, but even they see Russia as a lesser threat than China. This view is shared by the Uzbek security forces and American diplomats”.Russian regional expert Arkady Dubnov, in turn, believes that the observer status and the results of voting for him may be a kind of signal of Tashkent Moscow. “The fact that about a third of MPs opposed, shows that consensus in the Uzbek elites yet— he said “Kommersant”.— The question is carefully considered, but the Uzbeks see the EAEU is exclusively economic and not a political project. Any closer rapprochement with Moscow they would not like. These reflections in Tashkent can last for a long time — during a June visit to Moscow Mirziyoyev, the fundamental decision on membership will be taken. On the other hand, the situation of the nearly 2 million migrant workers in Russia in conditions of economic crisis requires decision-making, and possibly not related to the EEU. Return them to Uzbekistan is technically difficult, additionally, there are no jobs. So, these places need to keep in Russia.”Kirill Krivosheev
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