Turkmen leader is against debts, which are to be covered by sons and grandsons
Julian Pain, executive director of Asian Development Bank recently paid a visit to Ashkhabad during which negotiations with Saparmurat Niyazov were conducted. There are no doubts that the meeting can be treated as a historic one as for the first time in the history of mutual relations between Turkmenistan and various international financial organizations the parties managed to reach a real mutual understanding. It is not a secret that very often representatives of "big money bags" carry on a dialogue following the unofficial motto "who pays that enjoys", invading with undue familiarity in the most delicate spheres of peoples' and states' life. And if someone refuses to act, as they want, and to fulfill their sometimes very rude requirements, they take a pose of offended saying, "they do not want to cooperate".
Thus, it happened when Turkmenistan met with refusal USD 50 mln credit of European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which was destined for reconstruction of Mari- the largest highway in Ashkhabad, because the respective organization in the person of Mr. Koguchi asked to raise petrol prices against the credit allocation. Certainly, petroleum costs very cheap in Turkmenistan. But then it seems strange why Mr. Koguchi didn't asked for introduction of market prices for gas, electricity and water which are supplied free of charge in the republic. The Turkmen leadership pursues social-orientated politics estimating real living conditions of population and its consumer capacity. Thus, it is not clear what forced EBRD, which have taken the role of infallible expert to consider that they know more about the situation in Turkmenistan and about needs of the population.
Turkmenistan has never rejected equal and mutually beneficial cooperation with international financial organizations. There are many examples proving it. Let's take the same EBRD; joint projects on reconstruction of Turkmenbashi seaport (the credit allotted by the bank was USD 30 mln) as well as on small and medium business support (USD 35 mln) are successfully implemented due to EBRD participation. Or let's say World Bank, which allocated two loans to Turkmenistan for projects in the sphere of urban transport (USD 34.2 mln) and in the sphere of water supply and sanitary conditions' improvement (USD 30.3 mln), for modernization of urban transport system in Ashkhabad, Mari, Chardjou as well as water supply and sanitary conditions' improvement in Dashoguz velayet. However we cannot say the same about IMF. But the reason is yet the same as in the case with EBRD: International Monetary Fund encircles its credits with requirements which evidence the elementary desire to dictate own terms and introduce own concepts about marked models and not the understanding of real situation.
But let's come back to the visit of ADB executive director. The position of Turkmenistan was perfectly presented by the Turkmen leader who said," Our national model originates from the concept that no reform, no change should cause harm to people. That is why reforming of Turkmen economy is carried out in an evolutionary way keeping and even increasing the share of social programs, priority of social protection of the population. At the same time the number of people involved in private sector grows stably, the process of privatization speeds up as well. Reasonable combination of market and social-orientated mechanisms assures the stability of Turkmen economy, social-political stability and people's belief in reforms." As it was already said before, such approach met complete understanding of Mr. Pain, maybe because he knows Central Asian states better than representatives of EBRD and IMF and is well acquainted with peculiarities of he region.
During the meeting the Turkmen leader formulated the main principle of Turkmenistan's mutual relations with international financial establishments, i.e. he "is not the supporter of thoughtless "stream" loans which are to be covered by new generations. We stand for equal and mutually beneficial cooperation with international financial establishments. This cooperation has nothing to do with politics, first of all it should be reasoned by economic expediency, unbiased conditions, peculiarities of the state's development, growth of citizens' prosperity and social protection," Saparmurat Niyazov underscored. Coming to Asian Development Bank he said, "We would like you to be equal partners of Turkmenistan and not donors, we would like your bank to gain real profit from cooperation with Turkmenistan, from participation in national and regional projects," the President stated.
Let's hope, that it was not casual that it was ADB representative who assessed regional possibilities of the project on Trans-Afghan pipeline construction. "This big program is a wonderful example of our mutual cooperation and the constructive role which Turkmenistan plays in regional cooperation. Trans-Afghan pipeline is profitable in any respect and for all participants. We intend to continue supporting the project and taking part in all stages of its implementation", head of ADB delegation said. He also emphasized the huge significance of the forthcoming regular session of trilateral committee on Turkmen and Afghan transport and energy projects' implementation to be held in Kabul in mid September.
"Without any exaggeration it can be concluded that our today's meeting is a historic one. For the first time such high-ranking delegation of ADB visits Turkmenistan which witnesses the seriousness of our intentions and the importance the bank pays to cooperation with Turkmenistan. The meeting with President of Turkmenistan is the beginning of a large-scale cooperation with your country," Julian Pain said at the end of the talks.
As it is known, after getting independence many CIS countries hurried to use loans with long-terms grace for payment. However such "easy-money" destine the coming generations to becoming hostages of myopic and egoistic politics of incumbent officials. Fortunately, Turkmenistan, in the person of its leader, refuses to play such games. One should agree that the responsibility for future is far from being the last criteria for the politics pursued.