The Kremlin is concerned enough about increasing ties to the West to feel the need to pooh-pooh Ashton’s visit. One gets the impression that Putin doth protest too much.
A reform program in Turkmenistan would most obviously benefit the Turkmen people. They would gain control over their own government, as well as encourage increased international investment.
All of these nations would benefit from a substantial dose of freedom. The peoples of Central Asia will flourish once they are able to take charge of their respective economic and political destinies.
Turkmenistan is, by any measure, one of the worst dictatorships on Earth. Now is not the time to use enriching its political class as a tool to bring Turkmenistan kicking and screaming into the nineteenth century.