Turkmenistan: the myth of rebuilding shattered

Turkmen president re-elected for another term is in her power since 2007, Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov. He received about 97 percent of the vote. All of his six rivals behind very much. So Makarov, this politician, abolishing many odious solutions of its own predecessor, Saparmurat Niyazov (Turkmenbashi), will run the state for at least 5 years.

As Turkmenistan has changed over the years of Berdymukhamedov? Are there any country in the golden sculpture of Turkmenbashi? What to expect from Turkmenistan in relations with Russia, the West and China? On this and many other things in an interview with "Pravda.Ru" says Head of the Department of Central Asia and Kazakhstan of the Institute of the CIS and Baltic countries Andrei Grozin.

— Can we talk about the fact that Berdymukhamedov has seriously changed the most closed of the post-Soviet countries?

— Almost one can read about any structural configurations. Just Niyazov Turkmenistan brought to such a state that even the smallest change looks like a very real restructuring. Berdymukhamedov just took more odious manifestations of policies that made Turkmenistan similar to North Korea.

So, removed the gold sculpture. Changed the names of months (before some of them were called the naming of Niyazov and his kin. — Ed.). Niyazov's revised decision on the total elimination of pensions, canceled very quixotic nine-year schooling system and the next is as quixotic — high school. Out of indispensable reading books Niyazov's "Ruhnama" country was not to be absolutely isolated from the outside world. Opened an internet cafe.

More "vegetarian" was the political regime. If previously in the municipal cleaning product and in the leading companies took place every six months, but now they became less. If Niyazov actually did not go anywhere, then willingly Berdymukhamedov visited other countries. He likes the honors paid to him at the reception. At the same time, if Niyazov not surrounded himself with relatives and countrymen only, then under Berdymukhamedov his relatives took many prominent positions in the energy sector (fuel and energy sector), took control of the medium-sized business.

All configurations are designed more to external, rather than internal consumption. — That the European Union and the USA were happy. On Democracy does not have to read, but let a small step forward yet made.

— But the base of the system laid down Turkmenbashi, though preserved?

— The system as it was, and remains. Berdymukhamedov — a man of the old system. Thus, the base policy is not changed. Still there Generally, when people take the top job for six months, and then kicked and even repress. Just repression themselves less. Power structures as controlled everything, and are kept under control. Censorship of the media as it was, and remains. In the same Internet cafe anyone would never go to a restricted website. Everything is controlled.

Special configurations did not work and the economy, the basis of which as before are municipal corporations. The arrival of foreign investors strongly slowed down. They are not allowed to invest inside the country, and to a greater extent in the Caspian Sea — and then under very strict interest. In general, the configuration has endured autarky. Turkmen elite as it is aware that investment is needed, but the expense of weird — they are spent on palaces. Corruption Straseni.

In the policy configuration also wear faster cosmetic nature. So, do not abolished criminal article, punishing even the smallest doubt of the correctness of the government's actions. No other party, except the ruling has not been registered. All presidential candidates appointed from above. All competitors Berdymukhamedov's not just believed in their victory — they do not even talk about the it aloud.

There is no "second-Khrushchev" or "second-Gorbachev" from the current President of Turkmenistan did not. Citizens do not expect too much change. Well, changes are slower than many thought in 2007, when Berdymukhamedov came to power.

— How stable Turkmen regime?

— In the mood in Turkmen society in almost all affected geography. People fear that the actions of the "Arab Spring" spill over into their country. Until these "hot" in the political sense cities like Damascus and Tehran — hand feed. Turkmenistan has a long border with Iran and Afghanistan, where NATO forces are already on. Turkmenistan — weak country with a population of only 5 million people, but is very rich in hydrocarbons. And the last event attracts the attention of many influential players.

Actions may evolve even what scenario, and what is happening in the Middle East could spread across the Turkmen border. Life itself can push the Turkmen authorities to abandon self-sufficiency, to a change in non-bloc policy. It is possible that in two or three years, it will enter the company contracted to the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and the Shanghai Cooperation Group (SCO).

— What are the bases of foreign policy of Turkmenistan?

— Multi-vector and maneuvering — base policy of all states of Central Asia, this just in each policy has its own specifics. The specificity of Turkmenistan is rich in hydrocarbon deposits. Right up to the 2007-2008 local elite quite happy with that Turkmen An old gas flows through Russian pipelines towards Russia. But then "Gazprom" has concluded that a number of Turkmen raw materials did not need. And then there were the configuration.

In 2009, Berdymukhamedov spoke about diversifying. The construction of a gas pipeline to China. But this is our homeland reacts relaxed — in the Chinese market will be enough room for everyone. But the Turkmen gas to Europe — something very nasty to us, it is our direct rival. And if Turkmenistan will join the "Nabucco" Our homeland at risk of losing their political influence in Europe. So our approach is this: in China, India and Iran, Turkmenistan let go, but under no circumstances be building a gas pipeline across the Caspian Sea and the rest of Europe.

— How is closely cooperating with the West in Turkmenistan in the energy sector? If she is not afraid of worsening relations with Russia?

— Turkmen management often keen on the fact that everyone is trying to sell a non-existent gas in a row. But it is ready to sell hydrocarbons only in their own borders. In other words, let the West will build a pipe to Turkmenistan, and even then it will fill their gas. Naturally, the U.S. and Europe such an approach does not like it. Do not hunt them to pull the pipe through the Caspian Sea.

In addition, in Ashgabat understands that our homeland will not be indifferent to look at the construction of the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline bypassing its territory. The situation is now such that the status of the Caspian Sea is not defined, the boundaries are not carried out, and the Russian Caspian Flotilla — almost all of strongest of the Russian fleet in general. Resist it from Turkmenistan have no desire to. In particular, recalling what happened in 2008 with Georgia.

— Change to a best under Berdymukhamedov position in Russian Turkmenistan? Under Niyazov, it was very difficult …

— On essential configurations do not have to read. Turkmenistan how to build and build ethnocratic society. After the collapse of the Soviet Union there was such a thing as dual citizenship with Russia. In 2002, it was officially canceled, but people with 2 passports remain. And now all of the authorities' efforts are focused on the fact that either force the Russian renounce Russian passports, or to squeeze them out of the country. The government has no 1st Russian. Fro
m the time of Niyazov, the president left the Russian advisers, but how great their impact — hard to say.

In the state minority Turkmen authorities behold the "fifth column". Russia — a "hand of the Russian Federation", the Uzbeks — "the hand of Uzbekistan" and so on. The general course is focused on trying to make them very dependent on the government. They fear that Moscow or Tashkent use the "proper" to put pressure on Ashgabat. However, up to now our home did not intervene, and therefore Turkmenistan many could strengthen the idea that our home and did not intervene. And now whole the question is how aggressively the Russian will be forced to renounce citizenship.

In general, too far nobody hunt. Recall the story of a Russian pilot in Tajikistan, with the looming election campaign in Russia all our politicians could not stand up for him. At this moment, when our country is a change of government. The mood in Russian society are forced to move our management. Therefore, in Turkmenistan are afraid that our home will take a harder, more adequate policy in this matter. Because almost Turkmen Russian position has recently deteriorated.

But it is not ruled out such an option. Lack of education of the local elite, and it can not simply calculate how to act our homeland, and trample through. The ideas of our country in her becoming more and more than vague. Right through to the "Russian question" can go and in order to substitute Berdymukhamedov. Though the elite is not united and willing to scheme against him is …

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