Uzbek Foreign Ministry Summons Russian Ambassador over Annexation Comments

According to the press service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Uzbek Foreign Ministry has called upon the Russian Ambassador, Oleg Malginov, expressing concern over the proposal made by Zakhar Prilepin, co-chairman of the Fair Russia – For Truth Party, regarding the Republic’s potential accession to the Russian Federation. The Uzbek Ministry emphasized that such a proposal is deliberately provocative and could have adverse effects on the relationship between the peoples of both countries.

“During the meeting, the representative of Russia was informed in principle that in our country the statement of the co-chairman of the Fair Russia – For Truth Party, Zakhar Prilepin, at a conference at the Rossiya Segodnya press center regarding a proposal to annex the territory of Uzbekistan to Russia was received with a sense of deep concern,” the statement says, noting that such thoughtless remarks by party leaders of a friendly country such as the Russian Federation do not correspond to the spirit of comprehensive strategic partnership and alliance between Uzbekistan and Russia.

In turn, Malginov “with full responsibility” stated that Prilepin’s remarks do not reflect the official position of the leadership of the Russian Federation “in relation to friendly and independent Uzbekistan.” The Ambassador emphasized that the “sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the Republic of Uzbekistan have never been questioned.” Malginov also noted that the Russian Foreign Ministry plans to comment on this incident in the near future.

Prilepin has previously proposed the annexation of Uzbekistan and other territories of the former USSR to Russia, stating that “Since two million of your citizens are on our territory, we claim your territory. Because most of your people are here… Who will forbid us to do anything useful on the territory of the Eurasian territory after the parade in Kiev? No one,” Prilepin has also said that he would continue to promote the topic of “disavowing documentation about the collapse of the Soviet Union.”

Deputies from Uzbekistan asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to send a letter warning about criminal liability for encroachments on the constitutional system of Uzbekistan.