06.10.08 10:15
Is there any doubt left now?
Nothing seems to be able to outdo in the rating of top-news the inflow of information coming from the frontlines of the world financial crisis. However, last week's news from Turkmenistan has stuck for long in the headlines of leading world information agencies. British Gaffney, Cline & Associates company has announced the results of the audit of gas fields in the eastern part of Turkmenistan.

The globally renowned auditor has estimated that South Yoleten-Osman gas field contains 6 trillion cubic meters of gas and Yashlar gas field - 0,675 trillion cubic meters of gas.

Now the estimates of the Turkmen gas exports potential changed from probable to officially confirmed, and grew by nearly 7 trillion cubic meters of gas. As regards South Yoleten-Osman field discovered by Turkmen geologists, it can be rated fifth or fourth in the world by its reserves.

One can probably call this news a positive one. The world business community negotiating with Turkmenistan the terms of Turkmen gas supplies to the world market has no doubts left about viability and reliability of such partnership. However, positive news, as it turned out, can bring double-sided happiness. Some are happy about prospects of big profits, others could not be more happy seeing his neighbor's cow dies.

The tone of comments in mass media is mixed with a fairly large portion of undisguised regret over the acknowledgement of the proved reserves of natural gas in Turkmenistan. There were a lot of skeptical assessments in the past of Turkmenistan's capacity to support the idea of multiple exports of natural gas. Now that there are no grounds for open skepticism those who got used to "doubt" anything on someone's order try to catch on the remains of distrust. They allege that the company that carried out an audit is not the most competent one in the world, and data it had provided needs a double check...Besides, one can see a tendency to cast doubt on Turkmenistan's ability to live up to its international commitments on gas supplies and on the prospects of the Russian-Turkmen gas partnership. Now, they say, Turkmenistan will have a free hand in choosing international partners and can reconsider its long-term gas export plans.

Life has repeatedly proved a simple worldly wisdom. It says one judges the world to the degree of one's perversity. If one doubts everything, which is an end in itself evidenced by a certain social custom, then even strongest arguments will never make him change his mind.

Isn't it better to check life realities in this situation? Over 17 years of its independence Turkmenistan has never given any unsubstantiated promises and never broken its international commitments. Turkmenistan has given a priority to its international commitments in the new constitution that was adopted in September 2008.

As regards preferences in choosing partners for large-scale economic projects, Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and his country are guided, first of all, by principles of the status of permanent neutrality and pragmatic approach to every specific situation, taking into account economic, not political advantages. In his recent interview to "Turkmenistan" magazine, the president of Turkmenistan said:

"Today, the constitutionally fixed guarantee of non-alignment to military blocs and alliances is best evidence of genuine peacefulness of Turkmenistan's foreign policy aspiration. This fact makes us understandable, predictable and open to any potential international partner. At the same time, it makes us free from the shadow of any politically motivated choices. The potential of Turkmenistan's permanent neutrality is a perfect instrument in the international economic partnership. Lack of external suspicions in political commitments make Turkmenistan a reliable partner for Turkey, as a NATO member, Russia, as a member of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), and Iran, as a member of the Non-Aligned Movement. Undergoing unprecedented economic growth, Turkmenistan aspires to expand international economic cooperation with all interested partners on the mutually beneficial basis."

Now that a material basis has vividly demonstrated the reliability of Turkmenistan's economic potential and public statements by the head of state have aroused no doubts about his intentions do we need extra evidences of Turkmenistan's reliability as an international partner?

Complete skeptics are out of work by default, and I am sure their number will come to naught in the near future.

Konstantin VLADIMIROV, political scientist