Azerbaijan, Baku /corr. Trend A.Badalova / Tension in talks on the gas price between Turkmenistan and Russia, on Turkmenistan's wish to increase the gas price for Russia will not provide an opportunity to accelerate the realization of the project on the construction of the Trans-Caspian Pipeline, said the Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the Russian newspaper 'Kommersant' and politician Azer Mursaliyev.
"There are no direct relations between the stimulation of the construction of the Trans-Caspian Pipeline and the increase of the [ Turkmenistan] gas price for Russia. If the alternative projects such as the Trans-Caspian Pipeline or the gas pipeline in China are linked with the price of Turkmen gas for Russia, it affects the construction of the Trans-Caspian Pipeline," Mursaliyev said on 1 October by telephone.
During his meeting with US business people in September, the President of Turkmenistan, Gurbangulu Berdimuhammedov, highlighted the existence of tensions in the gas talks with Russia. The newspaper 'Kommersant' writes that the President's words are explained by his wish to increase the price of gas sold to Gazprom up to $150 per 1000 cu.m from 1 January 2008.
According to Mursaliyev, the prospects of construction of the Trans-Caspian Pipeline may be an argument for Turkmenistan in talks with Russia.
The Trans-Caspian Pipeline will provide an opportunity to transport gas from Turkmenistan to Georgia via the territories of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. The capacity of the pipeline may equal 20bln cu.m of gas per year. The construction of the pipeline is estimated at $10bln. The realization of the project prevents the unsettled disputable issues between Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan with regards to the status of the Caspian and Kapaz oil field which is located in the middle line between the two countries.