U.S. Relations With Turkmenistan
For the most recently published version of this fact sheet, see //2009-2017.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/.
More information about Turkmenistan is available on the Turkmenistan Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.
The United States established diplomatic relations with Turkmenistan in 1992 following its independence from the Soviet Union. Turkmenistan occupies a critical geographic juncture, sharing long borders with Afghanistan and Iran, and acts as a transportation, humanitarian, and economic link to Afghanistan and the South Asian subcontinent, advancing regional stability. Turkmenistan is a closed society with an authoritarian political system and centralized economy. Turkmenistan’s energy resources hold the potential to alleviate regional energy bottlenecks, if developed with diverse export routes. Progress toward reforms has been sporadic, and improvements will require significant time, effort, and resources.
The Government of Turkmenistan engages with the United States in many areas, including cooperation in border and regional security programs, educational and cultural exchanges, and English-language training. The government has taken some modest steps forward in human rights reform, although its overall human rights record remains poor.
U.S. Assistance to Turkmenistan
U.S. foreign assistance objectives include strengthening Turkmenistan's capacity to contribute to regional peace and control its international borders, encouraging citizens to play a greater role in civil society, increasing access to quality higher education, improving the capacity of the central and local government civil servants to perform their functions, and promoting private sector development and economic reforms.
A fact sheet on U.S. assistance to Turkmenistan can be found here.
Bilateral Economic Relations
Turkmenistan’s vast natural gas and oil resources continue to attract foreign companies to the country, but the Government of Turkmenistan has yet to implement reforms needed to create an inviting business climate where foreign investment and foreign investors are truly welcomed. Turkmenistan has signed a trade and investment framework agreement with the United States and other Central Asian countries establishing a regional forum to discuss ways to improve investment climates and expand trade within Central Asia.
The United States and Turkmenistan have a most favored nation trade agreement. There is an ongoing review of Turkmenistan's status as a beneficiary country under the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences program, due to significant deficiencies in Turkmenistan's intellectual property protection regime. The U.S. Government considers the Soviet-era dual taxation convention to continue to be in effect and applicable between the United States and Turkmenistan.
Turkmenistan's Membership in International Organizations
Turkmenistan and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, International Monetary Fund, and World Bank. Turkmenistan is a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's Partnership for Peace.
The U.S. Ambassador to Turkmenistan is Robert Patterson; other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department's Key Officers List.
Turkmenistan maintains an embassy in the United States at 2207 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008; tel: (202) 588-1500.
More information about Turkmenistan is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:
Department of State Turkmenistan Country Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Turkmenistan Page
U.S. Embassy: Turkmenistan
History of U.S. Relations With Turkmenistan
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Narcotics Control Reports
Investment Climate Statements
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Export.gov International Offices Page
Library of Congress Country Studies
Travel and Business Information