Turkmenistan: Rethinking Regional Relations

Aug 13, 2012 | 10:31 GMT

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimukhammedov (L) and Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev on June 21



Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimukhammedov gave a speech Aug. 6 in which he announced that the country's gross domestic product of this year's January-July period grew by 11 percent compared to the same period in 2011. He attributed this growth to Turkmenistan's 16 percent increase in natural gas exports.

The past three years have been difficult for Turkmenistan since its natural gas pipeline to Russia ruptured in 2009, severing the majority of the country's natural gas exports and severely hurting Ashgabat, given that natural gas exports make up the bulk of the government's revenues. Now, with a more favorable economic situation, Turkmenistan is turning its attention to regional security matters and is considering a closer relationship with Russia.

Turkmenistan is reassessing its position in Central Asia and its relationship with Russia....

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