Having Iran in the Kremlin-controlled Eurasian Economic Union will force Central Asian countries into very unfavourable economic and political positions, observers warn.
Politically and economically isolated, Russia appears to be dragging Turkmenistan into its schemes to skirt sanctions through blackmail or promises of payoffs.
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan have signed a 'roadmap' to build the dam and power station.
It is crucial for Tashkent to expand trade with Europe and the United States to avoid the long-term threats to its sovereignty that dealing with Russia provides, observers say.
The Kremlin is anxious that the West will take advantage of Moscow's declining authority, respect and influence in the region, analysts say.
The war in Ukraine is undermining the socioeconomic situation for people of Central Asia and the Caucasus through increased unemployment and reduced remittances, economists say.
Central Asia is now 'in the middle of everything', said EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell.
Russia's invasion of Ukraine is having debilitating consequences in East Africa, with millions of residents facing starvation due to food shortages and the unbearable cost of living.
An influx of Russians fleeing President Vladimir Putin's war in Ukraine is resulting in exorbitant rents in Tashkent and other parts of Uzbekistan.
Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine and Putin's 'partial mobilisation', many more young people are contemplating leaving the country in search of better opportunities.