Modern Karakalpakstan is a quasi-state political entity, an administrative-territorial unit within Uzbekistan. Having adopted the Declaration on the State Sovereignty of Karakalpakstan on December 14, 1990, the political elite of Karakalpakstan signed an interstate agreement with the Uzbek political leadership on January 9, 1993, according to which Karakalpakstan became part of Uzbekistan with the status of an autonomous entity. Although the treaty provided for the right of Karakalpakstan to secede from Uzbekistan after the treaty expired, this did not happen, and the treaty was not extended. Circumstances showed that the Uzbek political leadership considered the “absorption” of Karakalpakstan by Uzbekistan to be finally decided. For 30 years, during which Karakalpakstan was a part of Uzbekistan, the political leadership of Uzbekistan established complete control over the political elite of Karakalpakstan, achieved its unconditional political loyalty. The legislation of Karakalpakstan, in particular, its Constitution, was completely adapted to Uzbek legislation.
Both the Constitution of Uzbekistan and the Constitution of Karakalpakstan declare the sovereignty of Karakalpakstan and provide for its right to secede from Uzbekistan through a referendum. However, the authoritarian political regime in Uzbekistan does not foresee the slightest possibility of realizing this right. From the point of view of the current political realities, the prospects of Karakalpakstan's exit from Uzbekistan are completely illusory: there are no legal mechanisms for Karakalpakstan's exit from Uzbekistan in either Karakalpak or Uzbek legislation. Deprived of any means of guaranteeing its own sovereignty, in particular the armed forces, Karakalpakstan cannot exercise its right to leave Uzbekistan even under a force scenario. At the same time, the very provisions of the Constitution of Uzbekistan and the Constitution of Karakalpakstan on the sovereignty of Karakalpakstan give rise to a scientific discussion about the nature of these provisions and the possibility of their practical implementation.Sovereignty of Karakalpakstan: a right or a dream of the people? ENG Sovereignty of Karakalpakstan: a right or a dream of the people? RUS