The IMF predicts a robust year of economic growth for Central Asia, particularly Turkmenistan, which could see a 12% increase in real GDP.
Ashgabat hosted an international carpet fest the last weekend of May, apparently to the delight of the previously unknown pro-Turkmen faction at ukflooringdirect.com.
France's human rights ambassador, Francois Zimeray, visited Ashgabat in late May and noted the progress the country has made in human rights while insisting "there is more left to do." However, Mr. Zimeray was clear that human rights concerns would be considered separately from the two nations' economic relationship. Currently the French construction firm Bouygues has contracts worth 2 billion Euros with the Turkmen government.
A Russian businessman was sentenced to six years imprisonment by a Russian court for electronically stealing $20 million dollars from the Central Bank of Turkmenistan in 2002.
Turkmenistan deployed its first batch of Russian-made drones to border guard units, with the aim of curtailing illegal border crossing and drug smuggling.
In other border issues, the Turkmen-Iranian Commission met on May 29th to discuss consular, custom and border issues and increase trade cooperation.
Eurasianet offers some suggestions for reading the Turkmenistan.ru website.
President Berdimuhamedov visited India May 24 - 27 to visit culturally important monuments and shore up bilateral ties. Some Indian travelers faced delays as New Delhi airspace was shut down for 30 minutes while
Berdimuhamedov and Indian President Partibha Patil waited to begin their voyage to see the Taj Mahal in Agra.
Moscow celebrated Turkmen Cultural Days last week, culminating in the May 25th Turkmen folk music concert at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall.