>> Russian president Vladimir Poutine is in Uzbekistan to court its new leader. Just one problem though, after the death of President Islam Kareem, there is no official word on who might take over. But Reuter's Moscow Bureau Chief Christian Lo says that this meeting has offered some insight.>> It appears from what we're seeing during the meeting, that the next leader of Uzbekistan will be Shavkat Mirziyoyev, that's the Prime Minister.
Judging from the fact that he was the main point of contact, in fact, the only real point of contact with the Uzbek authorities. For Putin, it would seem that he has been anointed as the successor.>> Moscow isn't alone in wanting to be Uzbekistan's key ally. Washington and Beijing are also vying for Influence.
The resource rich nation straddles Afghanistan and is seen as a crucial strategic partner. But the US often criticized the human rights record of Uzbekistan under Karimov. Russia on the other hand has appeared less squeamish.>> Russia sent prime minister Dmitry Medvedev to President Karimov's funeral in his home town of Samarkand.
>> And then very shortly afterwards, Vladimir Putin himself flew there for a personal meeting. The United States, meanwhile sent a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, which is not the most lowly diplomat, but it's also very far from being the President of the Unites States or even the Secretary of State.
>> Putin flew straight from the G20 summit to lay flowers at Karimov's grave. Now, the country faces a change of guard but whoever the successor is, the Russian leader is probably hoping for more of the same.