+998 is the dialing code for Uzbekistan.
Uzbekistan in Central Asia is characterized by its political and economic legacy of the Soviet era, when planning economics and collective agriculture created inefficiencies and environmental degradation. Even after independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, Uzbekistan has been ruled by authoritarian regimes, whose critics are persecuted, imprisoned and exiled. The country is a major cotton producer.
- Abbreviationfinder: Brief profiles of Uzbekistan, including geography, history, politics, economics as well as common acronyms about this country.
Geography and climate
Uzbekistan is located in Central Asia surrounded by Kazakhstan in the north, Turkmenistan in the south-west, Afghanistan in the south, and Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan in the south-east. The climate is continental with long, hot summers and short, cold winters.
Uzbekistan is about the same size as Sweden. To the north lies the vast desert of Kyzylkum (Red Sand) and Lake Aral, whose northern part is in Kazakhstan. The large rivers Amu-Darja and Syr-Darja flow into the Aral Sea. So large quantities of water have been drained from the rivers to irrigation that the Aral Sea has partially dried out and almost all fish have disappeared. Periodically, Amu-Darja no longer even reaches the Aral Sea.
The predatory operation on land and water has also led to desertification, soil salting and groundwater poisoning, especially in Karakalpakstan, which is an autonomous republic in the northwest.
|Cultivated land||62.6 %|
|Land area||447400 km 2|
Population and health
|Population development||0.93 ‰|
|Urban population (Urbanization)||36.4 %|
|Death rate||5.3 per 1000 residents|
|Life expectancy: Women||76.78 years|
|Life expectancy: Men||70.05 years|
|Birth rate||17 births per 1000 residents|
|Infant mortality||19.2 deaths / 1000 births|
Population Graph Source: Countryaah.com
|Electricity, production||49910 million kWh|
|Energy consumption per resident||1621.7 kg. oil per resident|
|Natural gas, production||59630 million cubic meters|
|Crude oil, production||3 million tons|
|Internet users||40.6 per 100 residents|
|Mobile subscriptions||75 per 100 residents|
|Passenger cars||37 per 1000 residents|
Business and economics
|Unemployment||4.8% of the workforce|
|GDP||6100 per resident|
|Primary occupations||25.9 %|
|Secondary profession||13.2 %|
|Tertiary professions||60.9 %|
In southeastern Uzbekistan, the landscape is dominated by the Tien Shan mountain range, which extends through Central Asia from China. The Fergana Valley, which is protected on three sides by mountains and receives melt water from it, is the most densely populated part of the country.
The complicated border-crossing that seemed to happen randomly in this area during the Soviet era (1924-1991) has fueled and exacerbated conflicts there. Uzbekistan has small enclaves inside Kyrgyzstan, as well as there are Kyrgyz and Tajik enclaves on Uzbek land (see Foreign Policy and Defense).
The weather in Uzbekistan is mostly dry. Most precipitation falls during the winter and early spring.
FACTS – GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE
447,400 km2 (2018)
Swedish +4 hours
Adjacent country (s)
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan
Capital with number of residents
Tashkent 2,500,000 (with suburbs)
Other major cities
Samarkand 566,000, Namangan 521,000, Andizhan 437,000 (with suburbs, UN estimate 2019)
Khazret Sultan (4,643 m asl)
Average Precipitation / month
Tashkent 81 mm (March), 3 mm (Sept)
Average / day
Tashkent 0 °C (Jan), 17 °C (July)
German airbase is closed
The German air base in Termiz is closed. Thus, no Western military installations remain in Uzbekistan.
Jail in Sweden for rented murderer
The man charged with attempted murder of an Uzbek imam in Sweden is sentenced to 18 years in prison. The judgment will be appealed.
The state is accused of attempted murder in Sweden
The Uzbek state is designated as responsible for attempted murder when a 37-year-old Uzbek man is brought to trial in Sweden for attempting to kill a fugitive opposition Uzbek imam in Strömsund in February 2012.
Opposition politicians free after more than 20 years
After more than 20 years in prison, Murad Jurajev, one of the country’s most famous opposition politicians, is released. He previously sat in parliament for an opposition party but was sentenced to prison in 1995 for 9 years for trying to overthrow the regime. The sentence has subsequently been extended repeatedly. The release takes place shortly after a visit to Uzbekistan by the US Secretary of State.
Minors are prohibited from participating in prayer times
The Ministry of Education prohibits minors from participating in prayer times in the country’s mosques. The ban is an attempt to prevent the spread of radical Islamism among young people.
Several of Karimova’s circle are seized
Another nine people with business connections to President daughter Gulnara Karimova are arrested.
The President is re-elected in violation of the Constitution
In the presidential election, incumbent President Karimov gets just over 90 percent of the vote. The turnout is 91 percent. OSCE election observers criticize the Election Commission for Karimov’s candidacy despite the Constitution stipulating that the president may only be re-elected once. The OSCE also regrets the absence of real counter-candidates, saying that the official media unilaterally favored Karimov.
Foreign examiners of child labor are expelled
A consultant who visited Uzbekistan to review the details of child laborers in the country’s cotton industry is being arrested and expelled. The World Bank had set conditions for granting new loans to Uzbek agriculture that conditions in the cotton industry would be subject to international scrutiny.
President’s daughter is suspected to have taken billion dollars
The international journalism network OCCRP, based in Sarajevo, claims that president’s daughter Gulnara Karimova (see Current Policy, September 2012, March 2014) may have forced as much as the equivalent of a billion US dollars from international telecommunications companies. The OCCRP, which is dedicated to exposing organized crime and corruption, writes that the scope of Karimova’s extortion activities is likely to be far greater than anyone had expected. Among other things, she has been accused of taking bribes from Swedish-Finnish TeliaSonera. Since March 2014, Gulnara has been in house arrest. Several of her employees have been imprisoned and she herself seems to have lost all political influence.
Karimov again marks independence
Just over a week before he is expected to be re-elected, President Karimov says that Uzbekistan “will never again be part of any bloc trying to reintroduce old times with a bigger brother”. He adds that Uzbekistan is strong enough not to have to take orders from others. He is supposed to refer to the Russian-led Eurasian Union, which is regarded as an attempt by Russian leader Vladimir Putin to recreate the Soviet Union to a limited extent.
Three loyalists challenge the president
The Election Commission approves three counter-candidates to Karimov in the March presidential election. However, all three are completely loyal to the president and are expected to get no more than a few percent of the vote.
Oppositional online newspaper closes
The foreign-based opposition online newspaper Uznews.net decides to close the site, after several Uzbekistan journalists who reported to it were threatened.
Karimov excludes Soviet-like cooperation
Karimov says that Uzbekistan will never join a union “similar to the USSR”, that is, the Soviet Union. Karimov is perceived to make a leap to the current Russian leadership when he says in a speech in Parliament that his country can never cooperate with countries that “glorify the Lenin and Stalin epochs”. Through the play, the President takes away everything from judging the newly established Russian-dominated Eurasian Economic Union.
New alliance gains majority in parliament
A second round of the parliamentary elections is held in the 22 constituencies where no candidate received a sufficient majority in the first round of elections in December 2014. Only the two leading candidates in each constituency participate this time. The election result involves only minor changes in the distribution of seats between the faithful parties. After the election, the two largest parties, the Liberal Democrats and National Rebirth, form an alliance called the Democratic Forces Blocks, which together have 88 of the 150 seats.