March 2022
Welcome to Caspian Voices, Crude Accountability's monthly newsletter for scholars, policy-makers, and civil society members with hard-to-find information from the Caspian and the Black Sea regions from the communities impacted by oil and gas development.

War in Ukraine is sending shock waves all over Europe, Central Asia, and beyond. The war may forever change the way we see ill-gained profits, government and corporate corruption, and oligarchy as a global security threat. In this newsletter, we take a close look at how hydrocarbon profits empower authoritarianism, with a particular focus on Turkmenistan, one of the most opaque authoritarian regimes in the world.
Picture © Adobe Stock
Power Transition in Turkmenistan
In the very intense news agenda of the past weeks, important news from the region may have slipped the public's eye: on March 12, 2022, in snap elections, Serdar Berdymukhamedov, the son of the previous president Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, was elected the next president of Turkmenistan.
As indicated in our 2021 report, Turkmenistan: A Model Kleptocracy, Serdar Berdymukhamedov has long been groomed to become the country’s next president. Along with authoritarian power, Serdar Berdymukhamedov inherits the corrupt legacy established by the country by the ruling family and its close circle.

To learn more about the overwhelming system of kleptocracy fueled by hydrocarbon profits, read our 2021 report, Turkmenistan: A Model Kleptocracy (also available in Russian and Turkmen).
Who is Who in Turkmenistan's Gas Sector?
Despite known corruption challenges, lack of government transparency, and gross violations of human rights in the country, many companies have chosen to work in Turkmenistan.

In an effort to an effort to provide accurate and detailed information about companies profiting off one of the most closed regimes in the world, Crude Accountability is presenting the updated version of Who’s Who in Turkmenistan, a unique dossiers of companies working in the oil and gas sector in Turkmenistan.

Read individually, each dossier profile presents basic background information on companies working or planning to work in the country, to the extent that the information is publicly available. Taken together, the dossiers speak to the strong - and in some cases, long-standing - desire by companies to seal new deals with the government of Turkmenistan despite issues of corruption and human rights violations.

Western Institutions Should Stop Enabling Corruption and Authoritarianism in Turkmenistan

Following the snap transition of power in Turkmenistan, Crude Accountability urges western governments and international institutions to demand transparency and accountability from the country’s new presidential administration.

Open Letter to President Serdar Berdymukhamedov
Prove They Are Alive! campaign asks the new president of Turkmenistan, Serdar Berdymukhamedov, to immediately and unconditionally release all those who have served their terms in the Turkmen prison system.

The son of current Turkmen president Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov will soon be inaugurated as the next leader after the snap elections that took place on March 12th. While Serdar Berdimuhamedov has been groomed to become the president for quite some time, the change in power represents an opportunity to push for reform.

Read about the potential areas for reform in the article by Crude Accountability Board Member Sebastien Peyrouse for The Diplomat.
No Future in Limited Resources
Kate Watters spoke with The Eurasian Climate Brief on Chinese fossil fuels' trail of destruction in Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan in their latest podcast episode: Outsourcing emissions: China's Oil and Gas Ventures in Central Asia (The Eurasian Climate Brief, February 24, 2022). For an in-depth look at China's investments in the oil and gas sector in central Asia, read our recent report, Road to China.
Impacted Communities on the European Gas Route
The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project recently wrote an article about Crude Accountability's work in Azerbaijan and our latest report, Flames of Toxicity: The People Paying the Price of Shah Deniz 2’s Success looks at communities living by Sangachal terminal, one of the key points of transit for Azerbaijan's oil and gas to Europe.
Images in this newsletter are liscened for editorial use via Adobe Stock and Stutterstock