Turkmenistan ready for long term energy cooperation with EU
Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, Sept. 21 / Trend H. Hasanov /
The European vector of energy policy is important for Turkmenistan. This was highlighted at a recent expanded government meeting in Ashgabat, an official Turkmen source said today.
It was stressed that mutual interest in expanding cooperation in the energy sector is being stipulated by the EU member states' growing needs for energy resources and Turkmenistan's strategy of diversifying routes of energy delivery to the world markets.
Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said that Turkmenistan is ready to consider the possibility of further cooperation with foreign including European partners, on a long term, equal and mutually beneficial basis.
Not politicising the energy projects, Ashgabat is ready to sell natural gas on its borders to all interested countries.
The positions of Turkmenistan and the EU to develop a mechanism of delivering Turkmen energy resources to Europe were fixed during European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso's visit to Ashgabat in January 2011.
A high level working group was established. It includes officials of all concerned
parties. Several talks were held in European capitals and Azerbaijan.
Moreover, a meeting was held at ministerial level with the participation of a Turkish representative in Ashgabat on September 3.It was dedicated to the issues of cooperation in the international energy area.
A European Commission source told Trend that the negotiations on the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline will continue in a constructive atmosphere, adding that the visit of EU Commissioner on Energy Günther Oettinger to Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan in early September was held in the context of these discussions.
The Trans-Caspian gas pipeline running to around 300 kilometres will be laid from the Turkmen coast of the Caspian Sea to Azerbaijan. It will be connected to the Southern Gas Corridor.
Turkmenistan's negotiations with the EU and other countries to construct the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline have been held since the late 1990's.
The negotiation process has intensified after the European Union gave a mandate to start talks on the preparation of an agreement on the Trans-Caspian project between the EU, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan in September 2011.