Observers believe that the new Uzbek President will take steps to get closer to Russia
President Putin will likely benefit in the short to medium term from a weaker Uzbek premier
PM Shavkat Mirziyoyev has been designated mourner-in-chief at Karimov’s funeral, which is seen as a strong hint he might become the next president
Karimov will be buried Saturday in the ancient city of Samarkand, his birthplace
Karimov has no obvious successor and the country has never held an election judged free and fair by international monitors
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