Uzbekistan has no plans to deport Russians who are fleeing en masse to Central Asia to evade conscription amid Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine, the Tashkent government said on Friday.
Hundreds of thousands of men, some with families, have left Russia since President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilization last week; many headed to Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and other Central Asian former Soviet republics.
Some draft dodgers, however, remain concerned about their safety in those countries since their governments have close ties with Moscow.
Uzbekistan’s foreign ministry said in a statement it remained committed to principles such as respecting other states’ sovereignty and territorial integrity and supported a peaceful settlement of the Ukrainian conflict.
“…Foreign citizens who have not broken the law are not subject to forced deportation,” it said.
Uzbekistan has not said how many Russians have arrived in the country since the mobilization announcement. Neighboring Kazakhstan has said it saw about 100,000 arrivals.
Uzbek officials this week reprimanded a Russian ballet dancer for performing to a song in Tashkent that could be seen as supporting Russia’s war effort.