Foreign relations of Turkmenistan

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Turkmenistan's declaration of "permanent neutrality" was formally recognized by the United Nations in 1995. Former President Niyazov stated that the neutrality would prevent Turkmenistan from participating in multi-national defense organizations, but allows military assistance. Its neutral foreign policy has an important place in the country's constitution. Although the Government of Turkmenistan claims to favour trade with and export to the United States and Turkey, it has significant commercial relationships with Russia and Iran and a growing cross-border trade with Afghanistan. The Government of Turkmenistan often appears to be trying to use the conflicting interests of these regional powers as a means to extract concessions from the others, especially on energy issues.

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International disputes

Caspian Sea boundaries are not yet determined with Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Iran. Turkmenistan has no common land or Caspian Sea border with Russia. Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan have a dispute over water-sharing. Also, Narcotics from Afghanistan pass through the country on their way to Russian and European markets. Issues between Russia, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan were settled in 2003. Problems remain also between Iran and Azerbaijan.

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