Saturday, December 23, 2006

The Kremlin Seeks Influence and Control in Turkmenistan

After the sudden death of Pres. Saparmurad A. Niyazov, 66, of two decades of power with no successor...... now it is a showdown between the WEST and RUSSIA. This former ruler was named and handpicked by The People's Council of loyalists, named president of Turkmenistan, a position for LIFE, and he was referred to as ruling with an IRON HAND, now obviously, there is no heir to take his place. Not only is Turkmenistan's population estimated of about 5 million people, but what makes this such a power struggle is...... TURKMENISTAN is considered the world's fifth (5th) largest natural gas reserve and is a major supplier, actually Russia is piped the gas first, then it is resold from Russia. Humm!!

Most news sources are reporting encourgment of CALM over this shift of power and uncertainity involving Turkmenistan.

Ashgabat streets were deserted on Saturday, with music banned at public places and children not allowed to play outside. Vendors at markets were told to wear hats or scarves and not to speak or laugh too loud.

Security checkpoints outside Ashgabat were tightened and villagers who came to sell products at city markets were being turned away. Weddings, other celebrations and sporting events were canceled.

Niyazov, who died Thursday after two decades of rule that produced an all-encompassing personality cult, left no apparent preferred successor.
Turkmenistan is about the size of California (slightly larger), prodominantly Muslim, and its close neighbors are RUSSIA, Uzbekistan and IRAN. The capital, Ashgabat, is located almost on the northern border line with Iran.

So presently, this former Soviet republic's enormous petroleum and gas reserves country will become more of a focus between the West and Russia and elections of who will take over as the President.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a condolence message that “strengthening our partnership is in the true interests of the peoples of Russia and Turkmenistan.” And President Bush said the U.S. hopes “to expand our relations with Turkmenistan.” via Boston Globe
How far will Putin/Kremlin go to take control of this country with all its resources? I am keeping a close eye on this one....
P.S. There are some really weird things about this former leader....sorta like Kim Jong Il....a real sicko!!
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