Uzbek authorities hire PR firms to campaign against boycott on cotton harvested through forced labour
Tashkent Hires U.S. Firm To Campaign Against Boycott On Uzbek Cotton, 13 August 2020
Documentation obtained by RFE/RL shows that Uzbek authorities have paid more than a half-million dollars to a U.S. public-relations firm to run a campaign aimed at lifting an international boycott against Uzbek cotton over the country's use of forced labor to harvest the crop.
The documentation includes a copy of an agreement between the Washington-based firm Xenophon Strategies and the export agency at Uzbekistan's Ministry of Investment and Foreign Trade.
The agreement was signed on April 14 by the agency's director, Ulugbek Murodov, and Xenophon Strategies CEO David Fuscus.
Tashkent agreed to pay the firm $585,000 for its services, most of which has been already paid.
[refers to Xenophon Strategies, Cometis]