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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will go to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan subsequent week, the State Division stated Thursday, courting former Soviet republics uneasy over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The highest US diplomat will maintain talks Tuesday in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana earlier than heading to Uzbekistan’s capital Tashkent, on his strategy to a gathering of Group of 20 international ministers in New Delhi, the State Division stated.

The journey will come days after the one-year anniversary of the struggle in Ukraine, which has acquired billions of {dollars} in US weapons and financial help to assist battle again the Russian invaders.

Excluding Belarus, whose strongman Alexander Lukashenko is an in depth ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, former Soviet republics exterior of Russia have declined to rally to Moscow’s trigger regardless of shut financial and safety hyperlinks.

Creating nervousness, Putin invaded Ukraine partly as he decried remedy of ethnic Russians — who kind a large minority in a lot of Central Asia as properly.

Kazakhstan’s chief Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has referred to as for a “system of peace” between Russia and Ukraine and allowed in tens of hundreds of Russians fleeing navy mobilization.

However Tokayev additionally met Putin in November and described Russia as a “strategic associate.”

The month earlier than the Ukraine invasion, Tokayev referred to as in Russian-led forces to assist regain management after riots however he rapidly requested them to depart following public opposition.

Uzbekistan has additionally stayed formally impartial on Ukraine. Its chief, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, has billed himself as a reformer extra open to the world however the authorities strictly controls free expression.

Uzbekistan additionally noticed lethal unrest final 12 months after Mirziyoyev’s proposed constitutional reforms that may have weakened autonomy for the impoverished Karakalpakstan area.

America will not be the one nation that has been courting Central Asia.

President Xi Jinping of China — seen by the US as its foremost worldwide competitor — visited Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan final 12 months in his first journey because the Covid-19 pandemic.

French President Emmanuel Macron welcomed each Tokayev and Mirziyoyev to Paris late final 12 months and has spoken to different Central Asian leaders.


By Maggi

"Greetings! I am a media graduate with a diverse background in the news industry. From working as a reporter to producing content, I have a well-rounded understanding of the field and a drive to stay at the forefront of the industry." When I'm not writing content, I'm Playing and enjoying with my Kids.

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