Norov appointed as Uzbekistan foreign minister

TASHKENT — Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has signed a decree appointing Vladimir Norov as the Central Asian nation’s new foreign minister, RFE/RL’s Uzbek Service reported.

Mirziyoyev signed the decree on September 9, hours after lawmakers approved the move.

Norov had served as acting foreign minister since April after his predecessor, Abdulaziz Komilov, left the post several weeks after he told lawmakers that Uzbekistan does not recognize the pro-Russian, separatist-controlled districts in Ukraine’s Donbas region.

He also called for a “peaceful solution” to the unprovoked attack against Ukraine by Russia, considered an ally of Uzbekistan.

Komilov also said that the Uzbek government was working on ways to prevent any possible local impact on the Uzbek economy from international sanctions imposed on Russia over its aggression against Ukraine.

Four days later, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Mirziyoyev discussed, among other things, the situation in Ukraine. The Kremlin said the Uzbek president expressed his “understanding of the Russian side’s position and activities” in Ukraine.

Uzbek authorities said at the time that Komilov disappeared after making the comments and that he was being treated for an unspecified illness.

Komilov was later appointed deputy chief of the Security Council.