Russian president to discuss cooperation issues in Turkmenistan

Russian president to discuss cooperation issues in Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, July 2 / Trend H. Hasanov /

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov has invited Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to visit Turkmenistan at any convenient time, an official Turkmen source said on Monday.

The invitation which was announced during a phone conversation has been gratefully accepted and the date of the visit will be agreed through diplomatic channels.

According to local media, both sides exchanged views on a number of urgent issues of bilateral cooperation and international policy of mutual interest.

'Stressing the satisfaction with the aspects developing inter-state relations, the sides have confirmed their mutual desire to further enhance cooperation on a wide range of areas', the newspaper Neutral Turkmenistan reported.

According to the information, the Turkmen and Russian presidents have discussed the agenda of the forthcoming meeting of the Council of Heads of CIS member states which will be held in Ashgabat in November 2012 under the presidency of the country in the Commonwealth in 2012.

The two leaders expressed confidence that the cooperation between the two countries will continue developing based on the historical traditions of friendship and mutual goodwill.

"Turkmenistan appreciates the friendly relations with Russia which are considered through the prism of strategic importance and are arranged on the basis of constructivism and pragmatism," the Turkmen leader said.

According to the Russian side, the trade turnover between Russia and Turkmenistan is steadily growing. Taking into account gas supplies, it reached $4.3 billion in 2011.

Russia ranked third in the total turnover with Turkmenistan for the first three months of 2012 amounting to $1.235.41 billion.

Turkmen gas is supplied to Russia via the Central Asia - Centre gas pipeline
(CAC) through Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. Gazprom (Russia) is a buyer. It signed an agreement on gas supplies with Turkmenistan for 25 years in 2003.

Russia and Turkmenistan in the CIS are major natural gas exporters. The cooperation in the field of fuel and energy complex is a strategic direction in relations between the two countries.

At present, the CAC does not operate at full capacity. Russia has reduced gas procurement up to 10 billion cubic meters as a result of the global recession since 2010, which is four times less than in 2008. Russian companies are involved in the development of hydrocarbon resources of Turkmenistan. Russian Itera and Zarubezhneft work on one of the blocks in the Caspian Sea shelf under the production sharing agreement.

Turkmenistan has recently intensified direct cooperation with the Russian regions of Saint Petersburg, Tatarstan, the Astrakhan region and others.

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