This is the first foreign trip for Mr. Berdymukhamedov, 40, since he was chosen in March to head the oil-rich former Soviet republic of Turkmenistan, Central Asia, succeeding his father, authoritarian former president Gurbanguly Berdymokhmedov.
“I am confident that this meeting will give a significant impetus to the strategic partnership between Moscow and Ashkhabad”, declared Mr. Berdymokhmedov, especially praising the “egalitarian” character of bilateral relations.
“Our countries have ample potential to increase mutual trade and investment,” he said.
For his part, Mr Putin noted “substantial talks that took place in a friendly atmosphere”. According to him, “special attention” was given to energy cooperation during this meeting.
He also decorated Mr. Berdymokhmedov with the Order of Friendship, one of the highest honors of the Russian state.
The two leaders also signed a declaration on strengthening the strategic partnership between Turkmenistan and Russia, at a time when the latter is increasingly isolated on the international scene due to its offensive launched in Ukraine on February 24.
Mr. Berdymukhmedov also invited Mr. Putin to visit Turkmenistan. The invitation was accepted by the master of the Kremlin.
Turkmenistan is an inclusive country in Central Asia whose economy depends almost entirely on the sale of natural gas, especially to China, and trade with Russia.
Gurbangouli was ruled with an iron fist by Berdymokhmedov from 2006 to 2022, until the transfer of power to his son Serdar.
The latter seems to have a more laid-back style than his father, who enjoys playing DJ with his grandson on television, racing cars in the desert or erecting a golden statue of his favorite dog.
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