Turkmenistan, Austria to discuss joint energy projects in Vienna

Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, Jul. 27 / Trend H.Hasanov /

Turkmenistan and Austria will discuss joint projects, particularly energy projects during the meeting of intergovernmental commission in Vienna on July 27-31, an official Turkmen source said.

Turkmen Vice-Premier Khojamuhammed Muhammadov is involved in arrangements on the part of Turkmenistan. This topic was discussed at the last governmental meeting. Turkmen President Gurbangulu Berdimuhamedov drew attention to the importance of full-scale cooperation with Austria, both in bilateral format and as part of the Turkmenistan-European Union dialogue.

Brussels announced its readiness to sign an interim trade agreement with Ashgabat, which had been repeatedly rejected. Many experts connect this step with the EU attempts to secure direct access to the country's energy resources. After Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan is regarded as one of the key suppliers of natural gas for the Nabucco pipeline - to Austria through Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary.

Turkmenistan and Austria are working over a draft intergovernmental agreement on mutual protection of investments. Recently Turkmen leader has stressed a need for serious preparations for the upcoming forum in Vienna, designed to determine priority areas, local media reported.

Berdimuhamedov paid an official visit to Austria late November 2008. During the visit Berdimuhamedov had talks with Wolfgang Ruttensdorfer, head of the Austrian oil company OMV, which is part of the Nabucco consortium. The meeting between Berdimuhammedov and Austrian President Heinz Fischer focused on opportunities to diversify energy from Turkmenistan.

"Austria welcomes Turkmenistan's position on the diversification of hydrocarbons delivery to world markets and ready to help to ensure implementation of these plans as effectively as possible," Fischer said. Austria is a co-designer of the project initiated by Turkmenistan on the UN resolution on security of energy transit.

Turkmenistan and Austria established diplomatic relations in November 1992 and have signed 7 intergovernmental documents since then. Austrian companies are involved in implementing over 20 projects in Turkmenistan on construction and reconstruction of the objects of national economy, exploration and production of hydrocarbon resources.

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