Turkmenistan and EU discuss aspects of energy cooperation in Ashgabat

Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, Oct. 3/ Trend G. Gasanov/

Turkmenistan's President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and EU Special Representative for Central Asia, Patricia Flor, shared opinions on prospects for cooperation in the trade and energy sector, Turkmenistan's government reported on Thursday.

'It was emphasised that the important factor here is the position of Turkmenistan which has enormous energy potential and consistently pursuing a long-sighted strategy in this area. One of the main principles is to diversify export routes for energy carriers', a report said.

In a comment, the state information agency Turkmen dovlet khabarlary notes the obvious size of the huge infrastructure projects in Turkmenistan and international initiatives in the field of ensuring energy security.

The information says the meeting confirmed a lot of interest from the EU in further strengthening productive cooperation with Turkmenistan. The EU Special Representative conveyed greetings from President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.

Turkmenistan's President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov mentioned his country's intentions to further deepen and expand traditional cooperation with the EU, both in a multilateral and bipartite format with the EU member states.

Turkmenistan occupies one of the key positions in the region for delivery of natural gas to Russia, China and Iran. At the same time, it takes fourth place in the world for gas reserves.

It is expected that Turkmenistan can ensure guaranteed deliveries on the world market including Europe thanks to the Galkinish field.

Moreover, Turkmengas has independently stepped into the construction of the domestic East-West gas pipeline which aims to join up the richest resources in the east of the country along the coast of the Caspian Sea.

Ashgabat considers delivery of natural crude to the European markets via the Caspian, Azerbaijan and Turkey as an attractive variant.

There are not direct agreements on realization of TransCaspian gas pipeline, yet. Negotiations process started after the EU presented mandate on start of talks regarding the preparation of agreement between the EU, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan on TransCaspian project in September, 2011.

Official Ashgabat thinks that consent of Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan is enough for laying pipes under the Caspian Sea, which legal status is still undetermined. Turkmenistan has several times declared it is ready to conduct ecological expertise of the project.

Azerbaijan has expressed readiness to provide its territory, transit opportunities and infrastructure for realization of the project, as previously stated by representatives of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan.

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