Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, June 9 / Trend H. Hasanov /
The mutual interest of Europe and Turkmenistan in the energy sector today is natural and justified - both economically and commercially, the Turkmen Foreign Ministry said.
"Indeed, today we can speak about the beginning of a substantive dialogue on building a long-term partnership," a statement released by the ministry said. "The European energy market is one of the largest in the world. It feels a constant need for large and uninterrupted energy supplies to ensure the European economy's normal functionin."
The ministry's press service reported that European countries have proposed mutually beneficial terms of cooperation and reasonable prices to enhance their relations with energy-producing countries such as Turkmenistan.
"This is consistent with Turkmenistan's approach," the statement said, adding that the nature, content and prospects of the country's relations with existing and potential partners must be considered on this basis.
The ministry stressed that "the rapidly growing demand for energy resources in different regions, especially in rapidly developing countries, the change in the world political landscape, and the nature and content of problems today, are all factors objectively challenging the search for new configurations, schemes and models for implementing alternative energy supply projects."
"Which one to choose is the sovereign right of the members of any particular project," the statement added. The ministry also noted that "attempts to politicize energy supplies, and to use them as instruments of pressure and blackmail to achieve political goals or to satisfy corporate interests are unacceptable. They are contrary to logic and current global development trends."
In such situations, the ministry said, "long-term losses are reputational and economic. They will inevitably turn out to be much higher than newfound dubious and short-term benefits."
The modern approach is an approach based on the interests of all energy market participants, a search for a reasonable compromise, and the development of principles that allow energy supply security from political and other risks.
The ministry also said the country is committed to diversifying its energy flows, in particular, the construction of export pipelines.
Turkmenistan has recently undertaken two major joint pipeline projects - the Turkmenistan-China gas pipeline with a capacity of up to 40 billion cubic meters of gas per year and the new Turkmenistan-Iran gas pipeline, which will provide up to 12 billion cubic meters of gas annually to Iran.
The Turkmen Interagency Working Group for Energy Diplomacy was formed upon the decision of Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhammedov in April 2009.
This decision was made after the U.N. General Assembly adopted a resolution on the reliable and stable transit of energy resources initiated by Turkmenistan. It was a clear message to the world community about the determination of Turkmenistan to actively, consistently and systematically defend and advance its national interests in the energy sector based on international legal mechanisms, significant research resources and clearly defined principles of state strategy.