Turkmenistan, Iran discuss partnership in field of energy and on Caspian sea

Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, Sept. 13

By Huseyn Hasanov – Trend:

President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov has received the Head of Presidential Office and Chief of Staff of the President of Iran Mahmoud Vaezi, the Turkmen government said in a statement.

The discussion of the prospects of cooperation between Turkmenistan and Iran in the field of fuel and energy, where there are ample opportunities in the context of favorable geographical location of the two countries and huge natural resources, has taken place, the state news agency "Turkmen Dovlet Khabarlary" (TDKh) noted.

"These factors justify an effective bilateral partnership in ensuring the energy security," the TDKh quoted Turkmen president as saying.

The issues of partnership on the Caspian sea were one of the topics of discussion. Vaezi stressed the importance of the initiatives put forward at the 5th summit of the heads of the Caspian states, held in August in Aktau, Kazakhstan.

The exchange of views on the priorities of the partnership, primarily in the trade and economic sphere has also taken place.

"It was noted that huge potential for the expansion of productive relations opens up new opportunities for the implementation of large-scale joint plans," the message said.

It was stressed at the meeting that in order to develop transport and communication infrastructure in the region, the neighboring countries pay close attention to projects for the construction of transport and transit corridors of international importance.

A clear example of this is the transnational railway line Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran, designed to promote the optimization of transport flows in the Eurasian space. It was also noted that the activities of the intergovernmental commission on economic cooperation serve to strengthen mutually beneficial partnerships between the business circles of Turkmenistan and Iran.

In May 2018, in the course of the working visit of the governmental delegation of Turkmenistan in Tehran, one of the items of the agenda of the meeting was to discuss the swap supplies of Turkmen natural gas to Azerbaijan through Iran.

Iran receives Turkmen gas through several pipeline branches and the main one is the Korpeje-Kurt-Kui gas pipeline, which was put into operation in December 1995. In 2010, an additional gas pipeline was opened along the Dovletabad-Serakhs-Hangeran route.

However, as previously reported by the official Ashgabat, beginning from January 1, 2017, Turkmenistan was forced to limit the supply of Turkmen natural gas to Iran because of debts.

In this regard, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan announced that the National Iranian Gas Company has not made the necessary efforts since 2013 to repay its debt for the previously supplied Turkmen natural gas.

According to the information broadcasted by the Iranian TV channel PressTV, Ashgabat demanded at that time from Tehran to pay the debt for deliveries in 2007-2008 in the amount of $1.8 billion.

In August 2018, Turkmenistan officially submitted an application to the International Court of Arbitration to resolve the gas dispute with Iran.

The court is expected to render its verdict within two years.

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