Kremlin Web-site Blocked in Turkmenistan
The website Letters.kremlin.ru has been blocked in Turkmenistan since last Thursday (21 November). Using this web resource one could submit letters and complaints to the President of Russia or the Presidential Executive Office.
Though you wouldn’t know it looking at how Russia treats activists who protest oil drilling in the fragile Arctic, Moscow has a soft spot for the environment – when it’s politically expedient.
Days after a European Union representative said Brussels is moving forward with plans to build a gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to Azerbaijan across the bottom of the Caspian Sea, a senior Russian official said Moscow is concerned about the effect on the Caspian’s “extremely sensitive ecosystem.”
Igor Bratchikov, the Russian president's special envoy for the delimitation and demarcation of borders with CIS states, also told Russia's RIA Novosti news agency on November 22 that the EU plans are an "interference in Caspian affairs.”
Bratchikov said that while constructing a trans-Caspian pipeline "it would be thoughtless and ruinous not to take environmental factors into account."
"The consequences of any incident would be catastrophic for the extremely sensitive ecosystem of the Caspian Sea," Bratchikov said. "Moreover, it is not Europeans or Americans, but the littoral states that would have to solve [problems] in case of a disaster."
The EU official, Denis Daniilidis, said the draft agreement, which he expects Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan to sign later this year, ensures that any pipeline adheres to the "highest environmental standards."
Head of Medical Concern Fired
President Berdymukhamedov dismissed Yazmuhammet Nuriyev from his post of Acting Chairman of Turkmenhimiya State Concern for “great shortcomings in work and the use of official position for personal purposes.” He also relieved Lazmukhammet Nuryev from the position of Deputy Head of the concern.
IMF announces macroeconomic prognosis for Turkmenistan
The International Monetary Fund expects that Turkmenistan's economic growth will hit 10.1 percent in 2013 and 10.7 percent in 2014, the fund's statement, published on Nov.12, said.
A long-stalled project to deliver Turkmen gas to Europe is again in the spotlight after a European Union official said the idea remains on the table.
Denis Daniilidis, the head of the EU mission in Ashgabat, told an oil and gas conference in the Turkmen capital on November 19 that negotiators are finalizing a deal to construct a pipeline from Turkmenistan to Azerbaijan across the Caspian Sea, bypassing Russia, Russia's RIA Novosti news agency reported.
According to the diplomat, negotiators are working on "some outstanding issues,” RIA said. The EU, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan will sign an agreement on related environmental issues this year, he added.
The trans-Caspian pipeline project is part of the EU-sponsored Southern Corridor that would deliver natural gas from Central Asia, the Caucasus and the Middle East to Europe while easing Europe’s dependence on Russian gas. Russia and Iran oppose the construction of any pipeline across the Caspian Sea, citing the unresolved status of the sea and maritime borders. But both have done little in 22 years since the breakup of the Soviet Union to remedy the issue, and both have been accused of creating obstacles to alternative energy corridors.
Last week Turkmen’s authoritarian president, Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov received Alexander Lukashenko, the President of Belarus, a country which has often been labeled “the last dictatorship in Europe,”and whose president told Reuters in an interview