RIA Novosti

RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY EXPLAINED LAVROV'S VIEW ON UZBEK EVENTS

19:00 27/05/2005

MOSCOW, May 27 (RIA Novosti) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov urged the Parliamentary Commission formed in Uzbekistan to check thoroughly the information on the involvement of external forces in the events in Andizhan on May 13, a senior Foreign Ministry source told RIA Novosti Friday, commenting on various interpretations by the media of Lavrov's answer to a reporter's question about the need for an international investigation.

"This was principal message of the Minister's statements, and, as their wording was diplomatically correct, any arbitrary additions can distort the position of the Russian Foreign Ministry expressed by its head," the source emphasized.

In this connection he quoted Lavrov's answer: "In our opinion these events should be investigated. We know that a special Commission was formed by a decision of the Uzbek Parliament to carry out this investigation, including aspects concerning the actions of law enforcement agencies and the government to restore order. We consider it extremely important that the investigation carried out in Uzbekistan pays special attention to the establishment of the events' causes, and primarily answers the question: who, how, and with whose assistance organized the group that invaded Uzbekistan, illegally seized a police sentry post, a military unit, government buildings, weapons, and took hostages."

The Minister added that "available information on external forces' involvement with this group should be investigated in the most thorough manner," as "this is related to preventing threats of international terrorism in this extremely important strategic region."

At its session on Monday, May 23, our source reminded, the Legislative House of the Uzbek Parliament passed a decision to establish an "independent Parliament Commission for a comprehensive investigation of the circumstances related to the events in Andizhan." The Commission includes representatives of all political factions and the Senate. The Commission is authorized to carry out "a thorough investigation of all circumstances related to the events in Andizhan, a deep and comprehensive analysis of their development, and to establish the reasons and conditions leading to the tragic events of May 13."

That day an armed group seized a prison and a number of government buildings in Andizhan. Uzbek security forces stormed the city administration building. According to the authorities, 169 persons were killed in the disturbances.

© RIA Novosti