Listen Live  

Russia's Gazprom Resumes Buying Turkmen Gas After Three-Year Halt

April 15, 2019           |                                       

Russia’s state-owned energy giant Gazprom says it has resumed imports of natural gas from Turkmenistan that it stopped three years ago. Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov said on April 15 that “supplies are taking place.” Turkmenistan’s state natural gas company Turkmengaz also confirmed the move. No details were given about the amount of gas that Russia […]

Read more

Taliban Captures 58 Afghan Security Forces, Defense Ministry Says

March 19, 2019           |                                       

Afghanistan’s Defense Ministry says Taliban militants have captured 58 soldiers after days of fighting during which dozens of troops briefly chased into neighboring Turkmenistan in the latest blow to Kabul’s beleaguered security forces. The troops came under attack by militants in Bala Marghab district of Baghdis Province, which shares a border with Turkmenistan, almost two […]

Read more

Woman Chases Down Police After Turkmen Officers Seize Driving License

February 20, 2019           |                                       

A woman has given RFE/RL a mobile phone video she filmed as she chased traffic police in Turkmenistan’s capital, Ashgabat, after her driving license was seized because, she says, of her gender. The country’s president, Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, is thought to disapprove of women drivers.

Read more

Struggling Turkmenistan To Privatize Transport Sector, End Science Funding

January 30, 2019           |                                       

Turkmenistan says it will privatize much of the state-owned transport system and gradually end funding for the nation’s Academy of Sciences as it looks to bolster its struggling economy and save money amid a continuing slump in its energy sector. A decree published on January 30 by authoritarian President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov said the privatization process […]

Read more

Turkmenistan Said To Register Reservists As Tension Mounts On Afghan Border

January 15, 2019           |                                       

ASHGABAT — Turkmen authorities have launched a campaign to register army reservists — nearly all men under 50 — amid concerns about militants in neighboring Afghanistan, according to a Defense Ministry source and accounts by citizens. The Defense Ministry source told RFE/RL on January 14 that all conscription commissions across the Central Asian country had […]

Read more

Turkmenistan Enacts Strict Law On Alcohol

January 1, 2019           |                                       

A new law has gone into effect in Turkmenistan that will sharply limit alcohol sales in tightly controlled Central Asian country. As of January 1, alcohol in the predominantly Muslim country will be forbidden on trains, airplanes, and ferry boats as well as at sports facilities. The country of some 5.6 million people will also […]

Read more

Emperor Nero Of Turkmenistan Sees Out 2018

December 29, 2018           |                                       

The images of Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov sending his New Year’s gift in the form of song to the country’s people seemed fitting. Tragic, but fitting. It shows the incredible disconnect between the world he lives in and the world Turkmenistan’s people live in. Berdymukhammedov took the stage, again, this time on December 21 (the […]

Read more

The Sights And Sounds Of Discontent In Turkmenistan

October 21, 2018           |                                       

Turkmenistan has arguably been a study in authoritarian rule since it became an independent country in late 1991. Its leader is kept in power with the help of an efficient and ruthless security force that roots out the smallest hint of discontent and quickly silences even whispers of criticism. But it has been hard times […]

Read more

Turkmenistan Cuts Last Vestiges Of Program For Free Utilities

September 26, 2018           |                                       

Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, the president of crisis-hit Turkmenistan, has signed a decree that will eliminate the last vestiges of a program that has been providing free natural gas, electricity, and water to residents of Turkmenistan since the 1990s. The decree, published by state media on September 26, is due to come into effect from the start […]

Read more

Putin Hosts Turkmen Leader In Sochi After Caspian Summit

August 16, 2018           |                                       

Russian President Vladimir Putin has hosted the leader of Turkmenistan for talks following the long-awaited signing of a new convention on the legal status of the resource-rich Caspian Sea. At the start of his meeting with Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov in Russia’s Black Sea resort city of Sochi, Putin said on August 15 that he […]

Read more

Caspian Summit Fails To Resolve Issues Between Iran And Nearest Neighbors

August 15, 2018           |                                       

AQTAU, Kazakhstan — Though the presidents of Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan have long left the Caspian Sea summit, several questions remain about the joint document dividing the sea that they signed in Aqtau on August 12. Though some progress was made and several longstanding issues resolved — the major undecided problem appears to […]

Read more

Russian, Turkmen Presidents To Meet In Sochi

August 15, 2018           |                                       

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov are due to meet on August 15 for what the Kremlin describes as talks on an “entire range of bilateral relations,” including a “possible energy dialogue.” The talks in Russia’s Black Sea resort city of Sochi come after Putin and Berdymukhammedov signed a “strategic partnership” agreement […]

Read more

Another Hungry Winter In Turkmenistan

July 26, 2018           |                                       

It appears the people of Turkmenistan are headed for another hungry winter, the third such winter in as many years. And like the two previous years, it seems this time the government is not even prepared to admit there is a problem. The harvest is gathered. But so far there is no word as to […]

Read more

Majlis Podcast: Turkmenistan — Flush With Cash But Somehow Broke

July 15, 2018           |                                       

This week’s Majlis Podcast looks at the worsening economic situation in Turkmenistan. It is a topic we’ve discussed before on the Majlis, more than once, but this time we wanted to consider the revelations contained in a recent report by The Economist, which found some $23 billion in German banks that belongs to someone in […]

Read more

Turkmenistan's Uzbek Problem

June 28, 2018           |                                       

Might there be a little friction in Turkmen-Uzbek ties? Uzbek state television recently reported on food shortages in Turkmenistan. The thing is, Turkmen state media have not only avoided mentioning those shortages for many months, they even attempted to mask them just one day before the Uzbek reports by suggesting there was great availability of […]

Read more