Govt continued to deny any COVID-19 cases amid reports of outbreak, while tensions rose in Balkanabat city over cash shortage. Amid govt’s continued denial of COVID-19 outbreak inside country, independent media Radio Free Europe 3 Sept reported hospitals in capital Ashgabat were increasingly overwhelmed by rise of COVID-19 cases. In Balkanabat city (west), public anger rose over authorities’ failure to provide money for cash withdrawal machines and growing queues in front of banks; at least 200 Balkanabat residents 7 Sept reportedly marched to prosecutor’s office and Central Bank in city centre to demand solution to cash shortage; authorities next day introduced cash withdrawal coupons. NGO Human Rights Watch 23 Sept said govt inaction toward economic impact of COVID-19 pandemic has worsened pre-existing food crisis in country, urged govt to “take immediate measures to make sure that people can get adequate food”. Dozens of Turkmen citizens 1 Sept held rally in front of Turkmenistan embassy in Washington DC, U.S., demanding govt cancel plan to amend constitution initiated by President Berdymukhammedov last year. Berdymukhammedov 25 Sept signed constitutional amendment to merge parliament with People’s Council to create two-chamber institution. Human rights groups Turkmen Helsinki Foundation and Russian Memorial 7 Sept said in joint statement that police 5 Sept detained lawyer Pigambergeldy Allaberdiyev near Balkanabat for suspected links with protests abroad; national security ministry first described Allaberdiyev’s arrest as “terrorism case”, but officially arrested him on assault and hooliganism charges.
The death of President Saparmurat Niyazov of Turkmenistan from heart failure was announced on 21 December 2006.
The cotton industry in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan contributes to political repression, economic stagnation, widespread poverty and environmental degradation.
Sapamurad Niyazov's Turkmenistan, one of the world's most repressive regimes, has not responded to quiet diplomacy, modifying a few policies only when faced with a threat of sanctions or other punitive action.
More international involvement is needed in all spheres of youth activity in Central Asia, where around half the population is under 30.
The Annual Meeting of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) commencing on 3 May 2003 is an opportunity to assess frankly and honestly the records of the governments of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
More than a decade after their independence, each of the Central Asian states is on its own particular path of political and economic development. While most have achieved at least partial integration within the international community, one stands out as an exception: the remote former Soviet republic of Turkmenistan, on the eastern shores of the Caspian Sea.
Originally published in Foreign Policy en español
Originally published in Les Echos
Originally published in EUobserver
Originally published in Caucaz.com