Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, Feb. 23 /. Trend H. Hasanov /
In his congratulatory letter to President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has expressed confidence in deepening cooperation between the two countries, including in the energy sector.
The letter is timed to coincide with the recently celebrated Day of Turkmen State Flag and was dedicated to the results of Yanukovych's recent state visit to Ashgabat.
"I am confident that the business atmosphere for an effective and well-coordinated work will allow to jointly implement all the agreements reached by us in deepening Ukrainian-Turkmen cooperation in foreign policy, energy, construction, financial, cultural, humanitarian and other spheres," the letter said.
He said the results of the recent talks will give a powerful impetus to the intensification of bilateral contacts. Ukrainian leader also invited Berdimuhamedov to make a return visit to Ukraine at a convenient time.
During his visit to Ashgabat Yanukovych confirmed Ukraine's interest in the resumption of Turkmen gas supplies. He said the two countries have all opportunities to join efforts in order to develop alternative routes of gas supplies both for their own needs and for exports to Europe.
Kiev believes that the Turkmen gas can enter the Ukrainian market not by re-exports, but directly and on more favorable terms.
The Central Asia-Center gas pipeline, which runs through Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan became the monopoly of the Russian Gazprom after the collapse of the USSR.
In recent years Russia preferred to re-export Turkmen gas, including for Ukraine's needs. At the same time, under the influence of the global recession fuel purchases reduced from Turkmenistan to 10 bcm of gas, which is four times less than in the previous years.
Turkmen side announced availability of excess of marketable gas, which can be acquired by any potential customers, including at the Turkmen-Uzbek border.
Kiev convinces Russia on existence of a section in the agreement on CIS free trade zone providing for equal access to gas transmission facilities of the CIS countries. According to Ukrainian media, Kiev hopes to resume supplies from Turkmenistan this year.
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