Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, Dec. 29 / Trend H. Hasanov /
Russia hopes for further active expansion of trade and economic relations with Turkmenistan, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's message addressed to Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said.
"I hope for the further active expansion of fruitful trade-economic, interregional and humanitarian contacts, coordination of actions in international affairs, taking into account the chairmanship of Turkmenistan in the CIS for the benefit of our people and to strengthen the stability and security of Central Asia," the letter says.
President Medvedev said that joint work was conducted in 2011 to further strengthen Russian-Turkmen relations.
"I hope that the cooperation will continue in the same constructive spirit in 2012," he said. "It will be marked by the twentieth anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between Russia and Turkmenistan, as well as the tenth anniversary of the Treaty on Friendship and Cooperation."
The cooperation in the field of fuel and energy complex is the strategic direction in the relationship between the two countries.
Turkmen gas is supplied to Russia through the Middle Asia - Centre gas pipeline through Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. The customer, Gazprom (Russia) signed the agreement on gas supplies with Turkmenistan for 25 years in 2003.
At present, the Middle Asia - Centre gas pipeline does not work at full capacity. On account of the global recession, Russia has reduced the purchase up to 10 billion cubic metres of gas since 2010 or four times less than in 2008.
Turkmenistan and Russia have previously spoken about the new Caspian gas pipeline with a capacity up to 30 billion cubic metres a year. In this regard, the Presidents of Russia, Kazakhstan (a transit country) and Turkmenistan signed the agreement in May 2007 to construct a gas pipeline. The preparation of its feasibility study has been suspended due to the changes in market conditions in the global gas market.
Russian companies participate in the development of Turkmen resources. A production sharing agreement on one of the blocks in the Turkmen Caspian shelf was signed in September 2009.
The Russian Itera company was initially named as the operator. The role of the operator then shifted to the Russian Zarubezhneft company (51 per cent shareholder) in august 2011. It signed the agreement on joint activity in the area with Itera Company (49 per cent).