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On December 26, the Central Election Commission of Turkmenistan registered five candidates for the presidential election in the country, thus bringing the total number of applicants for the highest state post to nine. The upcoming election will exceed the 2012 presidential election by the number of registered presidential candidates. Four years ago, only eight candidates claimed the post of the President of Turkmenistan. Worth recalling, the presidential election is scheduled for February 12, 2017.



“Dragon Oil” continues its work in Turkmenistan, implementing projects for intensification of oil production in the country. As reported by local media, a few days ago the company started to work in the framework of the project on flooding the Jeitun field that is part of the Cheleken block located in the Turkmen sector of the Caspian Sea.


After the imposition of sanctions against Iran in 2012, the country still has not paid the debt to Turkmenistan for natural gas delivered previously, which amounts to about $2 billion. Representatives of the Turkmen authorities made this statement, reminding that the debt must be repaid as soon as possible. The Iranian side believes that if Turkmenistan has any claims against Iran related to the gas debt, it must appeal to the international court.



Turkmenistan continues the preparations for the upcoming 2017 presidential election, which is scheduled for February 12. The Central Commission for Elections and Referenda reported on the progress of the election campaign on December 20, noting that the current deputies of the national parliament hold election meetings in the capital Ashgabat and in the administrative centers of the provinces.


The German company Siemens will become another participant of the TAPI project, which envisages construction of a gas pipeline linking Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. It will provide $2.5 billion for performance of the required work; however, the condition is that various types of equipment must be purchased from the company. In particular, Turkmenistan shall buy nine compressors for the TAPI, and the deal is already close to completion.



Turkmenistan has every opportunity to expand cooperation with the United States in all areas, including business. President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov made this statement while delivering a speech at a regular meeting of the government. He also stressed the important role of the Turkmen-American Business Council as an effective mechanism for deepening and expanding the trade and economic ties, noting the significant potential to diversify the bilateral partnership.



In recent years, the growth rate of Turkmenistan's economy has slowed significantly, as reported by the International Monetary Fund on the results of the official mission that recently visited this Central Asian nation. The report on the results of the visit reads that the economic development of Turkmenistan is slowing down due to the impact of external factors. The internal growth that was not associated with the oil and gas industry was due to the Turkmen authorities' pursuit of diversification and attraction of loans.



Recently dismissed from the post of head of the Odessa regional administration (Ukraine) at his own request, Mikhail Saakashvili stated that there is no freedom of speech and press in Turkmenistan, while being interviewed live by journalists of Radio News. This conclusion follows from his comparison of the current Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko and the first President of Turkmenistan Saparmurat Niyazov, who ruled the country in 1992-2006 and held the title of Turkmenbashi (translated as: “Father of the Nation”).


The capital of Turkmenistan hosted an expanded session of the government, during which President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and the members of the Cabinet of Ministers summed up the performance of various sectors of the national economy during the 11 months of 2016. They also analyzed the results of the socio-economic development and reviewed other issues related to public life. In addition, there were determined specific targets for the next time period.



By 2020, the level of electricity production in Turkmenistan will amount to 26.38 billion kilowatt-hours. According to the local media, plans are afoot to establish cooperation with the neighboring countries in the region – Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Iran, Afghanistan, Turkey and Armenia – in organization of exports of Turkmen electricity. To date, the total installed capacity of the country's power plants reaches 5,432.4 MW. 56.9 percent of this amount accounts for gas turbine power plants.