Uzbekistan on Monday ratified a treaty creating a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Central Asia, according to the Russian news agency RIA Novosti (see GSN, Sept. 8, 2006).
The treaty, which took nine years to negotiate, creates a weapon-free region comprising the former Soviet states of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.
The pact cleared Uzbekistan's lower legislative body in January and its upper body last month. Uzbekistan's official media announced yesterday that Uzbek President Islam Karimov had ratified the accord on Monday, according to the Interfax news agency.
Officials from each country involved initially signed the document during a September 2006 ceremony in Semipalatinsk, a Kazakh town near a former-Soviet nuclear test site (RIA Novosti, April, 3).