IAEA membership not violates Turkmenistan’s neutrality, expert says

By: Aynur Karimova

As Turkmenistan’s initiative on the IAEA membership is becoming a reality, experts have looked into the evolving concept of relations between powers within the region and the broader global community.

Joining the UN International Atomic Energy Agency has no controversial stance and it does not violate the Central Asian nation’s internationally recognized neutrality principle. “A membership in such an institution is profitable for this country to protect itself from possible future crises,” Bruce Pannier, the expert on Central Asia and Senior Correspondent at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, believes.

“The IAEA is an international organization that does not represent any military bloc. So, Turkmenistan does not lose anything by joining it. It actually gains admission to a large international group dedicated to keeping the world safe from nuclear weapons and nuclear war,” he told AzerNews.

Ashgabat offered its membership to the IAEA and the neutral country’s bid has already been accepted. The main goal is to protect itself from possible future crises and enjoy the help the UN can provide in such cases.

Turkmenistan’s membership to the IAEA will not badly affect its relations with neighboring countries as this country has worked with the IAEA since 2005, and signed agreements on the application of guarantees in relation with the Treaty on non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and the Additional protocol to this agreement.

The expert said Ashgabat cannot only agree with countries like Iran that it should be able to develop civilian nuclear power, but also object to countries trying to develop nuclear weapons, or to the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

Holding the world’s fourth largest natural gas reserves after Russia, Iran, and Qatar and being one of the key players in the energy market of the resource-rich Caspian region, Turkmenistan intends to diversify its energy export markets. In this context Ashgabat’s willingness to cooperate with international organizations can be viewed as a kind of policy protecting itself from all possible challenges.

SOURCE: Azer News