At a summit meeting in Moscow on December 23, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov were cordial but did not sign any agreements or make any announcements. The two leaders have not met formally in more than a year, although they have had some informal conversations on the margins of meetings such as the anniversary summit of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in Dushanbe in September 2011. Turkmenistan is assuming the chairmanship of the CIS in 2012, although it is only an associate member, and has given no sign of interest in joining the customs union or free trade agreement promoted by Russia, already joined by Belarus and Kazakhstan.
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Catherine A. Fitzpatrick compiles the Turkmenistan weekly roundup for EurasiaNet. She is also editor of EurasiaNet's Sifting the Karakum blog.