Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, Oct. 8 /Trend H.Hasanov/
The President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov and President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation, national television Turkmenistan reported on Monday. It was initiated by the Turkmen side.
It was noted that the partnership between Turkmenistan and Russia is developing in all directions and has a strategic nature.
The Turkmen leader congratulated Putin on his birthday, wishing him and the people of the friendly country peace, happiness and prosperity.
'President Vladimir Putin expressed satisfaction with the high level of inter-state dialogue which, based on the age-old traditions of friendship, mutual understanding and good neighbourliness, is now entering a qualitatively new stage of development, including through mutually beneficial and constructive participation in the CIS, both in bilaterally and multilaterally formats', the statement said.
They exchanged views on a number of issues of bilateral cooperation as well as international policies of mutual interest. The prospects of 'equal and mutually beneficial cooperation' were also discussed.
Both presidents spoke about the importance of the forthcoming meeting of the Council of Heads of CIS member states which will be held in Ashgabat in November.
According to the Russian side, the trade turnover between Russia and Turkmenistan is steadily growing and reached $4.3 billion taking into account the supply of gas in 2011. Russia ranks third in the overall turnover of Turkmenistan for the first three months of 2012 amounting to $235.41 million.
Russia and Turkmenistan are the major exporters of natural gas in the CIS. The strategic direction in the relationship between the two countries is with cooperation in the field of fuel and energy. Turkmenistan's gas comes to Russia by the Middle Asia - Centre (CAC) pipeline through Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. Customer JSC Gazprom (Russia) signed an agreement with Turkmenistan on gas supplies for 25 years in 2003.
Russian companies Itera and Zarubezhneft work on one of the blocks in the Caspian Sea under the PSA agreement. Turkmenistan in recent years has stepped up direct cooperation with the regions of Russia such as St. Petersburg, Tatarstan and Astrakhan.
There are about 180 joint ventures in Turkmenistan.