New monitoring report: Fundamental rights in Central Asia in early July-early October 2014

New monitoring report: Fundamental rights in Central Asia in early July-early October 2014 A new report based on monitoring conducted by Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law, Nota Bene (Tajikistan) and Turkmen Initiative for Human Rights (based in Austria) provides an overview of human rights…

Berdymukhammedov junior gets his Ph.D. degree

Berdymukhammedov junior gets his Ph.D. degree The Turkmen President’s son – Serdar Berdymukhammedov – defended his Ph.D. thesis on 18 August 2014. The defence procedure was held in the building of Turkmenistan’s Academy of Sciences. In August Serdar visited the Academy of…

Turkmen pilgrims who returned from the Hajj had to undergo a medical check-up

Turkmen pilgrims who returned from the Hajj had to undergo a medical check-up On 17 October, an hour before the arrival of the aircraft with the Turkmen pilgrims on board to Ashgabat, who were flying home from Mecca, the airport was cordoned off by the military personnel and police…

No dollars left

No dollars left Starting from 6 October the currency exchange offices in Ashgabat stopped selling US dollars. Rumours are circulating among the residents that the authorities intend to increase the US dollar exchange rate to the Turkmen manat. Currently…

Grand openings of incomplete construction projects

Grand openings of incomplete construction projects From 22-23 September G. Berdymukhamedov paid a working visit to Dashoguz velayat. Following a long-standing tradition in Turkmenistan, in the run-up to any visit by the President local executives make preparations to get various facilities commissioned.…

Turkmen-style fight against “the powers of darkness”

Turkmen-style fight against “the powers of darkness” Last week employees of the road security service launched another clampdown on cars with tinted glass. In Geok-tepe and Abadan (formerly, Bezmein, which is now a part of Ashgabat) police officers stopped cars that did not…

Clones

Clones “Shoot your past from the gun and the future will shoot you from the cannon” What is modern Turkmen art and Turkmen culture? They are servants of the authorities in the ideological “front line”. They are…

Gazprom, a new competitor to Turkmenistan in China?

Gazprom, a new competitor to Turkmenistan in China? History was made on the 21st May over the gas deal between Russia and China, and not simply because of the amount of money written into the contract: 400 Bn dollars, to deliver 38 bcm/y over…

Red lines become redder

Red lines become redder Régis Genté For Turkmenistan, the Ukrainian crisis won’t change fundamentally its relations with Russia. But Ashgabat will probably be even more careful to not anger the Russian bear Turkmenistan is not at the center of Russian…

What will 2014 be like for Turkmenistan? Four experts’ view on regional geopolitics

What will 2014 be like for Turkmenistan? Four experts’ view on regional geopolitics Régis Genté In an effort to bring new voices to give their opinion and expertise, we have asked four specialists of Central Asia to tell us what 2014could be like for Turkmenistan. Here is some verbatim.…

Is Russia Abandoning Turkmenistan?

Is Russia Abandoning Turkmenistan? We asked four well known Russian specialists on Central Asia to answer the following question: Is Russia abandoning Turkmenistan? Many observers of the region (including diplomats, experts, businessmen…) have the impression that Russia indeed will no…

Turkmenistan on the (rail) way to global integration

Turkmenistan on the (rail) way to global integration Two railways projects are under construction in Turkmenistan. They could contribute to integrate the country regionally and worldwide… if the government opens to the world The third decade of independence of the Central Asia Republics could…

TAPI, a pipe dream but…

TAPI, a pipe dream but… Régis Genté Never say never. This is what energy experts usually advise when it comes to pipeline projects. This is especially true when it comes to the former Soviet Union. Everyone remembers how for example the…

Generation “Ch”

Generation “Ch” Letter four. From the series “Letters which are unlikely to be read but need to be written” What generation is being raised in the epoch of power and happiness? What problems are the authorities creating for…

OSCE And U.S. Policy Toward Turkmenistan On The Eve Of Afghan Drawdown

Turkmenistan is a troublesome partner. The country needs outside help to develop its vast energy resources but shuns a foreign presence on its soil or any foreign advice about how the county should be run. International…

Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan to sign some joint documents

Uzbek President Islam Karimov will pay an official visit to Turkmenistan on October 23-24, 2014 at the invitation of Turkmen counterpart Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, the president’s press-service reported Oct. 22. “The issues of developing the bilateral relations,…

Caspian Sea Could Be Key To Russian Control Of Eurasian Energy Markets

The world’s favorite hotbed of instability, the Caspian Sea, has finally earned the right to be called, well… a sea. This is the unexpected epiphany of the September 29th Caspian Sea Summit that brought together the…

Turkmenistan’s New Afghan Border Policy

Turkmenistan’s government is clarifying its policy toward its border with Afghanistan and now seems to be adopting the same tactic as neighbors Uzbekistan and Tajikistan — that is, sealing the frontier. RFE/RL’s Turkmen Service — known locally…

After Summit, Caspian Sea Questions Linger

Presidents of the five countries surrounding the Caspian Sea held a summit last week in Astrakhan, on the Russian shore of the sea. And while the Russian hosts declared that the summit moved the Caspian countries…

Arbitration Reveals How Turkmenistan Plays Chicken with Investors

A German national’s successful lawsuit against Turkmenistan’s government after Ashgabat expropriated his poultry farm offers insight into some of the unusual tricks the isolated Central Asian country can hatch on investors. The Washington D.C.-based International Center…

TAPI gas pipeline: top US firms drop out of race

Top US energy companies – Chevron and ExxonMobil – have dropped out of the race to become a consortium leader in financing the Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India (TAPI) gas pipeline following dismissal of their demand…