In a  report released at a news conference in Dushanbe, Tajik Foreign Minister Sirojiddin Muhriddin noted on February 18 that the issue of passage of semi-trucks with cargo bound for Tajikistan through Turkmenistan will be resolved soon.

According to him, this issue has nothing to do with the relationship between the two countries.  “Current relations between Tajikistan and Turkmenistan are at a very good level,” Muhriddin said. 

“The problem of transit of Tajikistan-bound freight through Turkmenistan is related to security measures within Turkmenistan itself,” said the minister.  “Besides, Turkmenistan for many years is trying to repair a bridge connecting it with Iran, through which our semi-trucks are passing.” 

He further noted that the presidents of Tajikistan and Turkmenistan met in October last year on the sidelines of the CIS summit and “the foreign ministries of the two countries were ordered to resolve all issues.”  

“We are currently studying a roadmap.  We are studying a draft roadmap developed by the Turkmen side.  We will replay soon and add our proposals.  This issue will be resolved in the near future,” the minister concluded.

The problem of shipment of Tajik cargo by trucks though Turkmen territory has not yet been resolved despite numerous applications of Tajik authorities.  Turkmen roads remain closed not only for Tajik trucking companies but also for freight shipping companies of other companies carrying cargo to Tajikistan. 

Tajik trucking companies have found alternative itineraries to the Middle East to bypass Turkmenistan through Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan and further to Iran and Turkey.  But this itinerary has lengthened time of travel for vehicles heading to Iran but has shortened time of travel for vehicles heading to Turkey.

For the first time, Turkmenistan denied Tajik trucks permission to pass through its territory in September 2018.

Around 100 trucks either from Tajikistan or heading there had been standing idle on northern and southern border entry points into Turkmenistan since the start of September.  A month later, the long-distance haulers were reportedly given the green light.  The Ministry of Transport received notification from Turkmenistan that trucks could resume transiting on October 3, 2018.  

In February last year, Turkmen authorities put ban on transit of Tajik cargo by trucks through its territory again.