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Page Updated: 18-Oct-2006
SPS Homepage > News 2006

Security through Science projects in Turkmenistan

Scientific cooperation between NATO and Turkmenistan was discussed during meetings in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, from 9 to 14 April 2006, between a representative of the NATO Public Diplomacy Division and Turkmen governmental representatives.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan, Mr Rashid Meredov, stressed the value for his country of two ongoing projects supported by the NATO Programme for Security through Science: the Virtual Silk Highway and a Science for Peace (SfP) project on the “Study of Radioactive Waste Disposal Sites in Turkmenistan”.

Through the Silk project NATO is providing - by satellite - access to the Internet for countries in the Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia) and Central Asia (Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan).

Through Science for Peace NATO collaborates with Turkmenistan in the safe handling of radioactive waste, a by-product from iodine and bromine production facilities near by the Caspian Sea. This includes the implementation of a radiochemical laboratory in Ashgabat, the installation and operation of equipment for protection against radiation and the training of Turkmen personnel.

The Silk project provides an example of how the Security through Science Programme has joined forces with other international organisations to achieve common goals. The European Union (EU) is involved in the Silk project in Turkmenistan through its TACIS Programme, which provides grant-financed technical assistance to 13 countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia with the aim to enhance their transition process. By using the Virtual Silk Highway facilities, the EU provides distant learning courses for language and health care for Turkmenistan, including the hardware for computer classes.