11 May 2007

Turkmenistan in Transition – a Window for EU Engagement?

Michael Denison

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The death of President Niyazov in December 2006 has opened a window for engagement between the EU and Turkmenistan. Prior to this, Turkmenistan could fairly be described as a ‘sultanistic regime’ isolated from the wider world. This paper by Dr. Michael Denison, professor in the School of Politics and International Studies, University of Leeds was originally presented at CEPS conference on ‘Building Stronger Ties, meeting New Challenges: The European Union’s Strategic Role in Central Asia.’ In it Professor Denison sketches the historical political landscape, considers the likelihood of Turkmenistan diversifying its natural gas export options and concludes with 15 clear recommendations for the EU to deepen its engagement with Turkmenistan.