Turkmenistan is a country of 5 million people. It is located in Central Asia between Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and Iran, with the Caspian Sea on the west. Turkmenistan used to be part of the Soviet Union, until it declared independence in 1991.
Turkmenistan is a repressive, one-party state, led by President for Life Saparmurat Niyazov. Its economy depends on exports of cotton and Natural Gas. All of its gas exports go through Russia, which frequently interferes in Turkmen politics.