Given the way things went during his recent visit to Turkmenistan, one has to wonder whether Russian President Dmitry Medvedev looks forward to talks with Turkmen leader Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov as he would a visit to a dentist’s office for a root canal procedure.
Medvedev spent October 21-22 in Turkmenistan and came away with nothing. Just about the only thing that the two leaders agreed on was to formally suspend the Prikaspiiski natural gas pipeline project. When it was announced back in 2007, the Prikaspiiski route seemed destined to give Russia a dominant role over Caspian Basin energy exports. But since those heady early days, the pipeline project had remained at a standstill.
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Sergei Blagov is a Moscow-based specialist in CIS political affairs.