Russian companies in Uzbekistan encounter serious problems with local monetary unit conversion
The independent Tashkent-based Uzmetronom laid its hands on a document that indicates existence of complicated economic relations between Russia and Uzbekistan and questions the popular myth concerning the dynamic and rapidly evolving interaction between our countries promoted by state officials in both capitals.
Here is the text of an official letter from the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Tashkent to the Foreign Ministry of Uzbekistan dated early June
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Republic of Uzbekistan
July 2, 2007
To: The Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Uzbekistan
Embassy of the Russian Federation presents its regards to the Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Uzbekistan and has the honor to enclose a list of companies regularly encountering problems with conversion of the monetary unit of the Republic of Uzbekistan into hard currency as required by their foreign economic commitments.
The Embassy implores the respected Foreign Ministry to convey the information to the Finance Ministry and Central Bank of the Republic of Uzbekistan for the purpose of settling the matter in accordance with the agreements made in the course of the visit of Prime Minister of Government of the Russian Federation Mikhail Fradkov to Tashkent in March, 2007.
The Embassy once again presents its deep regards to the Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
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The supplement includes a list of the organizations that appealed to the trade mission of the Russian Federation in Uzbekistan for help with currency conversion problems.
For instance, Aeroflot serviced by ABN AMRO Bank, is unable to convert 2.2 billion sums and the longest delay with conversion so far has taken 103 days.
Unitel is unable to convert almost 20 billion sums through UzKDB Bank and 14.536 billion through ABN AMRO Bank.
Ulianovsk Autos needs help with conversion of equivalent of $1,155,226 needed to pay Uzbek contractors.
Vostoklada Plus cannot convert 3.208 billion sums into hard currency through Capital Bank.
Avtoprom Plus is unable to convert $3 million plus.
"The letter from the Russian Embassy to the Uzbek Foreign Ministry is extremely polite. Stripped of the fancy phraseology, however, it indicates the Central Asian partner's absolute financial incompetence and non-obligatory behavior," Uzmetronom wrote. "We are talking the Central Asian partner that never misses a chance to recall what great conditions have been set up for foreign investors in Uzbekistan."
Prominent free-lance journalist Yezhkov reminds his audience that when Uzbekistan signed the Strategic Partnership Accord and Ally Treaty with Russia and aspired all of a sudden for membership in the Organization of Eurasian Economic Cooperation, it was merely angling for economic benefits and preferences and never intended to make any commitments.