Ashgabat and Kiev intensify energy cooperation

Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, Jan. 24 / Trend, H. Hasanov /

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov received the Foreign Minister of Ukraine Leonid Kozhara in Ashgabat, the Turkmen government informed on Thursday.

As stated in the provided information, the parties expressed mutual interest in intensifying cooperation with consideration of the large amount of natural resource and economic potential.

"The importance of the furthered intensification of contact in all strategic areas, especially in trade and economics, fuel and energy, the development of which is prioritized by Turkmenistan and Ukraine, was emphasized," according to the material.

The Foreign Minister of Ukraine visited Ashgabat as a chairman of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) as well.

A government report from Ashgabat stresses that "from this perspective, many opportunities are opening for effective cooperation between Turkmenistan and Ukraine, which are both full OSCE members. This desire is based on their interests in enhancing the role of the OSCE in the security of energy transportation."

Areas of cooperation in this area will be discussed in detail in February at a high level. As reported earlier by Turkmen media, during that period, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych will be on a state visit to the Caspian.

Experts point out that Kiev sees Turkmenistan as a competitive energy source. In turn, Ashgabat, which supplies gas to China, Iran and Russia, is interested in new markets, including the early supply of its energy to Europe, including Ukraine.

At this stage, supplies from traditional production areas flowing through Russia (Central Asia-Center gas pipeline) are below capacity.

The CAC pipeline, which runs through Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan became the monopoly of the Russian Gazprom after the collapse of the USSR. In 2003, Gazprom signed an agreement for the sale of Turkmen gas for 25 years. As of 2010, under the influence of the global recession Russia reduced purchases from Turkmenistan to 10 bcm of gas, which is four times less than in the previous years.

To a large extent, this was due to a decrease of purchases by Ukraine, which has recently been looking for a way to get direct deliveries of Turkmen gas. Kiev officials previously expressed their desire to directly purchase about five billion of Turkmen gas annually.

However, such an arrangement requires Russia's permission to use its pipelines. Kiev states that the agreement on CIS free trade zone contains a clause that provides equal access to transmission facilities in CIS countries.

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