EBRD maintaining relations with Turkmenistan regime
Bankwatch Mail | 14 May 2012
Following the EBRD’s controvesial adoption in 2010 of a ‘calibrated strategic approach’ to guide its activities in the totalitarian state of Turkmenistan, annual discussions between the bank and civil society organisations have been taking place, with the most recent last month.
This article is from Issue 52 of our quarterly newsletter Bankwatch Mail
At the meeting, US NGO Crude Accountability that closely follows hydrocarbon investments in the former Soviet Union recommended that the EBRD reconsider its calibrated approach and focus instead on the following areas:
- Analysing the legislation of Turkmenistan vis-a-vis its compliance with the essential requirements of the EBRD regarding the transparency of the national budget.
- A complete cessation of cooperation with Turkmenistan on grant and loan projects to bring the legislation of Turkmenistan into compliance with the requirements of the EBRD for partner countries.
- Ensuring that the Turkmen authorities bring about the adoption and strict implementation of relevant legislation in the field of natural resources and the harmonisation of legal standards relavant to fiscal policy, environmental protection, social policy and the fight against corruption.
Repression against activists, the country’s restricted media and low democratic accountability also featured in the discussions.
EBRD representatives maintained that the bank will not involve itself in any oil and gas projects in Turkmenistan until there is an improvement in the political and economic situation. In a continuation of its calibrated strategic approach, the EBRD will work to develop Turkmenistan’s private sector, trade finance and MSME sector as priorities. On the political side, the EBRD will also continue its policy dialogue with the Turkmen authorities.
The EBRD continues to be involved in the Turmenbashi port project, deemed by Bankwatch to be controversial as it may crucial for the country’s oil and gas infrastructure.