The European Parliament has given its initial green light to a partnership agreement with gas-rich Turkmenistan, aimed at bringing the Central Asian country closer to the European Union.

But the draft agreement has been criticized for risking legitimatizing a repressive regime.

The European Union and Turkmenistan signed a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) back in 1998, although its entry into force has long been postponed due to the uncertain political situation in the country and human rights