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  • Turkmenistan’s Neutrality-Based Foreign Policy: Issues and Challenges

    The fluid geopolitical situation arising out of the Russian military intervention in Ukraine has added to the challenges of Turkmenistan’s leadership in implementing their stated neutrality-based foreign policy doctrine.

    July 20, 2022

    Turkmenistan needs to revisit its gas policy

    Turkmenistan needs to revisit its gas policy

    TAPI has the potential to be a game changer for Turkmenistan. To boost confidence among potential investors, Turkmenistan needs to adopt best global practices in its gas sector.

    September 02, 2016

    Milind M Chandurkar Asked: Why being a CAR, Turkmenistan is not a member of SCO yet?

    Meena Singh Roy replies: Since its independence, Turkmenistan has adhered to the principles of ‘positive neutrality’ in its foreign policy. On October 22, 1995, Turkmenistan for the first time conveyed to the UN its decision to adhere to a policy of neutrality in its foreign affairs. Subsequently, the 185 member-states of the UN unanimously adopted a special resolution of the General Assembly on the ‘permanent neutrality of Turkmenistan.’ The basis of Turkmenistan’s foreign policy was defined by its former President Saparmurat Niyazov in the following words:

    “The positive permanent neutrality, non-interference into internal affairs of other states, non-alignment with any military blocks and groupings and other international obligations envisaged in the country’s Constitution are the basis of Turkmenistan’s relations with all world states."

    Due to its policy of 'positive neutrality', Turkmenistan did not join the SCO. However, its head of state has several times participated as a special guest in the SCO summit meetings.

    One could also look at my article on “Strategic Importance of Turkmenistan for India”, Strategic Analysis, 35 (4), July 2011, pp. 661–682

    Strategic Importance of Turkmenistan for India

    This article examines the strategic importance of Turkmenistan for India in respect of: energy resources; transit potential; and proximity to Afghanistan and Iran. It argues that India's economic potential, its liberal-democratic values, its pluralistic structure, secular fabric, military strength, strong financial, scientific and technological capabilities make it the most desirable partner for all the five Central Asian republics.

    July 2011

    Hamid Ansari’s Visit to Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan

    Vice President Hamid Ansari’s visit to Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan from April 4 to 10, 2008 opened up new vistas between India and the Central Asian Republics (CARs). During his visit, Ansari asserted that greater engagement between India and CAR would not only prove beneficial for both but will also help to enhance the strategic significance of the region. The Vice President’s visit has opened up new hopes for cooperation especially in the hydrocarbon sector, mainly with Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan.

    April 24, 2008

    The Caspian Pipeline Deal and Russia’s Energy Strategy in Central Asia

    Vladimir Putin’s week-long visit to Central Asia in the second week of May 2007 was aimed at courting Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan as part of Russia’s future energy strategy in the region. Behind the visit lay the Kremlin’s desire to create a natural gas cartel in the region and maintain its monopoly over gas supplies to Europe. Moreover, despite its vast resources of oil and gas, Russia may actually face domestic shortages, at least of gas, because much of its own resources are in remote areas and need heavy investments to be made productive.

    June 11, 2007