Turkmenistan's possible participation in the construction of a pipeline linking Caspian Sea natural gas producers with European markets was to be a main topic of discussions between Westerwelle and Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov.More ...
But the draft agreement has been criticized for risking legitimatizing a repressive regime.
The European Union and Turkmenistan signed a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) back in 1998, although its entry into force has long been postponed due to the uncertain political situation in the country and human rights concerns.More ...
Petition and information on Karimov's upcoming visit to Brussels: Free Europe embraces the the Uzbek Dictator?
Statement by activists and friends of civil society in Uzbekistan
On January 24, President Islam Karimov will visit Brussels, where he plans to meet with the leadership of the European Union and NATO. Meanwhile, the Belgian Foreign Ministry issued a statement that neither official talks with member of the Belgian Government nor an audience with King Albert II. We learned about this visit not from press releases of the EU and the governments of Belgium, but through private channels. Only a few days ago, the website of the President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso posted the headline:
Meeting with the President of Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov which, in turn, links to the biography of Islam Karimov posted by the Uzbek government’s website. The reader can get the following information about Karimov from this ‘biography’:
‘For his outstanding contribution to education in Uzbekistan, creation of a state based on democratic laws, guarantee of civil peace and national accord, and for courage, I. Karimov was awarded the title Hero of Uzbekistan and the awards Mustakillik (Independence) and Amir Temur.’
This is propaganda pure and simple, and President Barroso’s website provided a link to this propaganda.
After we made this public, the Public Affairs Unit of the European Commission deleted the above mentioned link from the Commissioner's web site.
In regard to this, we are concerned by the following three circumstances.
First, EU relations with the Karimov regime seem to be at odds with EU principles of openness. One gets the impression that the EU is borrowing elements from the dictator’s own principles for ruling – of opacity and secrecy.
Second, flirting with the dictator of Uzbekistan, the EU sets a dangerous precedent. If the EU has a visit with Karimov, who will they receive next to discuss ‘water-energy issues’ or the like? Alexander Lukashenko, Robert Mugabe, Kim Jong Il, Than Shwe?
Finally, we are concerned that the attitude of EU leaders towards Karimov during the visit will be complimentary, and that the EU will miss the opportunity to impress upon the regime the need to improve its human rights record. More ...
Западные НПО, занимающиеся Центральной Азией, и особенно правозащитники крайне негативно восприняли известие о готовящемся 24 января визите президента Узбекистана Ислама Каримова в Брюссель. Удивление по поводу готовности европейцев расстелить красную дорожку перед лидером государства, систематически критикуемого за грубые нарушения прав человека, выражают и эксперты. Руководитель неправительственной организации Eurasian Transition Group Михаэль Лаубш (Michael Laubsch) только что вернулся из Брюсселя. В интервью Deutsche Welle он рассказал о причинах, побудивших Евросоюз официально принять Ислама Каримова на высшем уровне.More ...
Please find Michael’s speech below:
Ladies and Gentlemen:
At first, I would also like to thank the organizers of today‘s conference here in Bonn for discussing those important questions, dedicated to the relations between the European Union and Central Asia.
When reflecting about the topic of this event, one might think that energy security would be the relevant part the European Union and its member states is interested in, while democratic development is mainly relevant for the future of the Central Asian states, in this case Turkmenistan. But in fact, democratic development is not only important and essential for Turkmenistan itself, it has an impact to stability and security within the whole Eurasian region, with direct consequences for the EU, for the OSCE, for NATO and other institutions.
The relations between the European Union and Turkmenistan are mainly based on establishing an energy dialogue. It can be described as a pragmatic approach, because it differs from the basic principles of the EU Central Asia Strategy, defined under the German Presidency in 2006, whereby the promotion of democracy and the rule of law form the basis for more intense bilateral relations.
However, a number of steps taken by Brussels over the past years seem to indicate that in the case of Turkmenistan, the Union is placing bilateral relations ahead of its ratified commitment to values. More ...
U.S. officials in Ashgabat spin human rights message as oil executives line up for Turkmen President
Please find some relevant documents and audio files below:
ETG will host a roundtable discussion March 5, 2010 in Vienna.
„Turkmenistan - Western Influence: Energy Interests and Political Implications“
Topics will be:
Turkmen Gas and Nabucco
The political situation in Turkmenistan
Possible strategies of EU, OSCE and US
Key Speakers will be:
Alain Délétroz, Vice President Europe, International Crisis Group (ICG)
Arkady Dubnov, Journalist and Turkmenistan Expert
Nurmukhamed Hanamov, former Ambassador of Turkmenistan and Expert on the political and social situation
If you are interested to participate, please send us a short mail.
Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov with Hillary Clinton: Photo by US State Department.More ...
First, on December 22, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his Turkmen counterpart Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov met in Ashgabat and signed an agreement to expand bilateral “strategic” energy cooperation. Then the heads of Gazprom and Turkmengaz signed an agreement on the resumption of Turkmen gas supplies to Russia with the start of 2010, amounting to 30 billion cubic meters (bcm) annually.More ...
Turkmen gas exports to Russia resumed January 9 after a nearly nine-month hiatus, due to a pricing dispute. Under the Turkmen-Russian settlement, the Kremlin-controlled energy giant Gazprom will only buy 30 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas annually compared to 50 bcm in previous years, and will pay in the region of $250 per thousand cubic meters (tcm), Russian news sources reported.More ...
The report, ‘All that Gas?’ represents an innovative collaboration between Global Witness and cutting-edge satirical cartoonist, David Rees, who has produced original artwork for the publication. His seven new cartoons feature EU bureaucrats discussing crude strategies to ‘get the gas’. Rees is best-known for his US cartoon series ‘Get Your War On’, published on the internet and in Rolling Stone magazine.
All That Gas? (11/2009) Hi-res PDF
All That Gas? (11/2009) Lo-res version
Comic Strips (in Turkmen)
Comic Strips (Na russkom)
David Rees' Comic Strips (In English, hi-res)
Gazovyi vopros (11/2009), Word, na russkom
Hemme zat gaz üçinmi? (11/2009) Word, Türkmen
Source: Global Witness
In October 2008, Gaffney Cline & Associates announced the results of its audit of the gas resources of the South Yolotan/Osman and Yashlar fields in Turkmenistan. Following that announcement, the following pulic statement was released.More ...
ETG sources report that during the cabinet meeting President Berdymukhamedov announced the falsification of the independent gas drillings, saying that probably only one third of the results might be realistic.
By a decree most of the responsible directors in the gas industry were fired.
ETG will follow the situation in the country carefully.
In a signing ceremony overseen by the presidents of Russia and Turkmenistan on Sunday, the sides agreed to begin work next year on developing the field, which is estimated to hold 160 million tons of recoverable oil and 60 billion cubic meters of natural gas.More ...
It was just last week that I put in a blog piece that the EU’s chances of diversifying their gas supplies were extremely poor.More ...
Again, this report is available in Russian and can be ordered.
So it appears that Ukraine and Russia have finally come to terms on a Gas Transportation deal that will allow the former Soviet state to receive gas and send it on to Western Europe. This is just the latest in a long line of dramas involving the transport and ownership of energy reserves between the triangle of Russia, Central Asia, and the EU. For Russia must first acquire most of the gas it sells to Europe from its former Soviet states to its south, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.More ...
Turkmenistan’s own relative isolation has proven a benefit during these tough economic times, shielding Ashgabat from some of the worst effects of the worldwide credit crunch. [For background see the Eurasia Insight archive]. At the same time, the crisis has infused European governments, especially Germany, with a sense of urgency to conclude new deals that help embattled exporters. The fact that Berdymukhamedov’s administration seems to be one of the few governments in the world today with money to spend is prompting European states to de-emphasize Ashgabat’s troubled record on civil society development.More ...