European Parliament approves trade agreement with Turkmenistan
Deutsche Welle, Gennady Temnenkov
The European Parliament approved a Trade Agreement with Turkmenistan after 11-year examination. Deputies supported the document after the EU's promise to improve human rights in Turkmenistan.
On April 22, the European Parliament approved the Trade Agreement between the EU and Turkmenistan by majority, the KNA information agency reported. The European Parliament deputy Daniel Caspary proved the information in a telephone conversation with Deutsche Welle.
The promise to improve the human rights in Turkmenistan by the Czech Foreign Minister Carel Schwarzenberg, whose country currently presides the EU, was a decisive statement during the voting.
The voting was repeatedly postponed.
Last year and early this year, deputies of the European Parliament have repeatedly postponed the examination of the trade agreement with Turkmenistan, since the lack of enough guarantees by the EU leadership to improve the human rights in Turkmenistan.
Deputies from the green fraction and left wing parties in European Parliament have attempted to postpone the voting. However, conservators, socialists and liberals did not support them.
The Trade Agreement between EU and Turkmenistan was signed in the late 1990s. European Parliament Committee was in favor of the ratification the document in 2006. However, the issue was not considered for a long period, as many deputies did not support the agreement protesting the violation of human rights in Turkmenistan.
Turkmenistan has so far remained the only country in Central Asia with which the EU had not a trade agreement.
Human rights organizations have criticized the EU for accepting the adverse situation of human rights in Turkmenistan in a hope of improving Europe's energy supply, KNA said.Opinions expressed in this article may be different of those held by Trend