Russia's economic performance in 2019 turned out to be even worse than the government's less-than-rosy forecasts.
Russia has used the economic bloc to implement protectionist policies, drawing the ire of Central Asian countries.
The country's banking system was '10-15 years behind modern requirements, said Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
Other countries have found the Russian-dominated bloc harmful to their economic aspirations.
'Uzbekistan is making strong progress in transforming its economy and building opportunities to improve people's lives,' said a top World Bank official.
Deprived of its previous sources of revenue, including oil smuggling, the 'Islamic State' is struggling to find alternative means to raise money.
Kazakhstan is providing higher wages, more rights protection, and an environment of respect -- all in stark contrast to what migrant workers face in Russia.
The light rail project in Kazakhstan is just the latest infrastructure programme financed by China to have gone sour in Central Asia.
The country could become politically and economically dependent on Russia should it join the bloc, warn economists and political analysts.
In the latest case, Rosselkhoznadzor, Russia's food safety watchdog, cited Kazakh company Becker & K for 'undeclared trace DNA levels' in its meat products.