The United States will continue to provide funding to Uzbekistan through the Cooperative Threat Reduction program despite the former Soviet republic’s poor human rights performance, the Washington Post reported yesterday (see GSN, Dec. 8, 2003).
A human rights evaluation is required as part of the CTR program, according to the Post. While many former Soviet republics have a history of poor human rights performances, no country had ever formally failed the test until Uzbekistan, U.S. State Department officials said Friday. Even so, U.S. President George W. Bush waived the human rights certification requirement on the grounds of national interests, the Post reported.
The U.S. decision to not certify Uzbekistan’s human rights performance, while mainly symbolic, sends Uzbekistan a message “that its relationship with the United States may tangibly suffer because of political repression,” said Human Rights Watch advocate Tom Malinowski (Peter Slevin, Washington Post, Jan. 11).