The Pentagon reportedly intends to ship 75 percent of all non-military cargo destined for Afghanistan via the Northern Distribution Network (NDN) by the end of 2011, EurasiaNet reported. The US wants to significantly expand traffic on the NDN to reduce reliance on the Pakistani Ground Line of Communication and wants to secure additional approvals for the NDN from Central Asian governments. Turkmenistan’s role in the NDN has been low key to date. It has not signed a transit agreement with either the United States or NATO, although Ashgabat allows its international airport to be used a refueling stop for US military planes. Commercial companies also transit bulk fuel deliveries destined for bases in Afghanistan through Turkmenistan, and US government-contracted fuel suppliers occasionally buy duty-free fuel from Turkmenistan.
To read the full story
Catherine A. Fitzpatrick compiles the Turkmenistan weekly roundup for EurasiaNet. She is also editor of EurasiaNet's Sifting the Karakum blog. To subscribe to the weekly email with a digest of international and regional press, write email@example.com