The people of the United States of America and its business circles continue to look for new directions to strengthen our economic cooperation with Turkmenistan. I hope that Turkmenistan will be able to take advantage of new gas export opportunities to the West in connection with the recent determination of the legal status of the Caspian Sea.The United States would like to see Turkmenistan diversify its gas market with a Trans-Caspian pipeline that would carry Turkmen resources to Europe via Baku, Azerbaijan. This gas pipeline is still in the planning stages, however it has been at the core of U.S. interests since the 1990s. The key to recent American outspokenness on the topic was the 2018 Caspian Sea Agreement which reflected the understanding over the waters among the littoral states (Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Iran, and Azerbaijan). The agreement makes allowances for the construction of energy pipelines with each party having jurisdiction over any structures or installations in its sector. In other words, the littoral states will have authority over materials that transit the Caspian’s territory. This makes it more likely that the trans-Caspian gas pipeline project will proceed.
…the full spectrum of human rights issues, to include the use of forced labor in cotton harvesting and undue restrictions on religious practices.”While it is admirable that Ambassador Klimow aims to address these pressing human rights issues, he will likely spend even more time fighting what he described with restraint as Turkmenistan’s “weak regulatory environment and excessive bureaucracy.”