Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan. 11 /Trend, G.Hasanov/
EU Commission President
Jose Manuel Barroso's visit to Ashkhabad is scheduled for Jan. 14-15, 2011, an official Turkmen source reported.
Before that it was planned that the visit would take place several days earlier. It is noteworthy that Barroso's first visit to Turkmenistan was expected already in the spring of 2009 - he was supposed to attend an international UN conference on energy transit security.
However, because of his busy schedule, Barroso could not come. But Turkmenistan's top FEC managers could listen to his special video message saying that "it needs to connect Turkmenistan to European markets via the South Caucasus and speaking on "the importance of long-term partnership".
Brussels is actively seeking an alternative in the Caspian Sea via the Nabucco pipeline project, which aims to protect Europe from the energy crisis experienced in the previous winter periods because of the inconsistency in matters of gas transit from Russia.
In his message to Ashgabat, Barroso also noted that the "gas crisis in January signaled that serious guarantees are necessary for the uninterrupted supply of energy resources and the EU will seek to diversify sources, including from Turkmenistan.
As expected, in the Turkmen capital, Barroso will not only attend the opening of an EU representation, but also hold talks on the Nabucco project. It is obvious that the leadership of Turkmenistan, which has the fourth largest natural gas reserves in the world, hopes that Brussels would clarify the situation around Nabucco and EU's specific expectations related to Turkmenistan, experts say.
Official Ashgabat has taken a number of concrete steps towards Europe recently. Turkmen authorities have recently openly declared their readiness to supply gas for the Nabucco project.