Turkmenistan, EU to intensify energy negotiations

Photo: Turkmenistan, EU to intensify energy negotiations / Oil&Gas

Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, April 10 / Trend, H. Hasanov /

Turkmenistan plans to hold several meetings with EU officials, the Turkmen government said on Wednesday.

This issue was discussed at a government meeting in Ashgabat. President Berdimuhamedov emphasized the importance of optimal implementation of the existing significant potential of the interaction with the EU bilaterally, as well as through the EU key organizations, a government report said.
Turkmen Dovlet Khabarlary state news service stressed that the bilateral cooperation with the EU in such spheres as energy, trade and economy obtained new incentives.

According to a source close to the negotiations, Brussels and Ashgabat are interested in organizing Turkmen gas supplies to the European market. The next stage of the Turkmen government delegation's negotiations will be held at EU headquarters.

Energy cooperation issues were raised during European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso's visit to Ashgabat in January 2011. Then the matter rested in the priority of the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline, which could be laid from the Turkmen coast of the Caspian Sea to Azerbaijani coast.

The negotiation process in this area was intensified after the European Union provided a mandate to start negotiations on the preparation of an agreement on the Trans-Caspian project between the EU, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan in September 2011.

According to the Russian media, the EU Commissioner for Energy Gunther Oettinger has once again stated about the need to reduce Europe's dependence on Russian gas supplies. He said this at a forum in Hanover.

"We want to see the Russians as suppliers of Russian gas, rather than wholesalers around the world," ITAR-TASS quotes Oettinger.

He said that it is necessary to open the Southern Gas Corridor and allow Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan to supply to Europe to reduce this dependence.

Neutral Turkmenistan newspaper said on Wednesday that one of the priorities of Turkmenistan's foreign policy is to strengthen and expand constructive dialogue with EU member-states.

Turkmenistan has established diplomatic relations with all 27 EU member-states.

The effective bilateral mechanisms intensifying the fruitful cooperation have been created.

The Turkmen-EU joint committee has an important role.

"There is significant potential to enhance trade relations with European countries," Vatan newspaper reported. "In this aspect, an important step is Turkmenistan's examination of the issues related to the accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) put forward by Turkmen leader Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov."

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