Gulnur Rakhmatullina, Ph.D. (Econ.), chief researcher at the Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan (Almaty, Kazakhstan)

The GUAM integration organization was created in November 1997 when the foreign ministers of four countriesGeorgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Moldovasigned a Protocol declaring the creation of this new structure.

Uzbekistan officially joined this organization in April 1999. But in 2002, it suspended its participation in this organization.

At the beginning of May 2005, Uzbekistan made a decision to withdraw from this regional organization. According to many experts, Tashkent was cautioned by the initiative put forward at the GUUAM summit held in Chisinau in 2005 to create a Black Sea-Baltic arc of democracy and stability. It is obvious that Karimovs support of Yushchenko and Saakashvili might have given a new boost to the activity of the Uzbek opposition. In addition, GUUAM was initially pro-American and anti-Russian in orientation. While Uzbekistans policy focused more on intensifying political and economic cooperation with the Russian Federation, which to a certain extent was related to the events in Andijan. So the Uzbek presidents decision to withdraw the republic from GUUAM was understandable. Since then, the organization has received its old nameGUAM.

When this integration group was created, great importance, in addition to geopolitical considerations, was given to the oil factor and communication integration. In particular, cooperation focuses on drawing up and implementing the TRACECA global European-Caucasian-Asian transport-communication project, on the basis of which it is hoped to integrate the Central Asian and South Caucasian states into the global economic system and reduce energy dependence on Russia.

The establishment and efficient use of oil transportation routes via the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan and Odessa-Brody pipelines and.

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