Sting said this about playing in Tashkent:
I am well aware of the Uzbek president’s appalling reputation in the field of human rights as well as the environment. I made the decision to play there in spite of that have come to believe that cultural boycotts are not only pointless gestures, they are counter-productive.
This stands in stark contrast to Sting’s refusal to cross Kazakhstan’s “virtual picket lines.” Much like the concert in Kazakhstan, which was part of the president’s birthday celebrations, Sting’s appearance in Tashkent was solely for the enjoyment of Uzbekistan’s elite. The cheapest tickets cost $1000. That’s 45 times more than the average Uzbek’s monthly salary.