The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan issued the following statement for press:
"On 4 July 2006, the Russian newspaper "Nezavisimaya Gazeta" published an article by V. Panfilova, concerning Turkmenistan. It absolutely fails to correspond to reality and is aimed at brutally distorting the real situation regarding Turkmen-EU partnership.
In this regard, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan states that such false information is fiction and clearly provocative in its substance.
It is not for the first time that ahead of the G8 summit some countries and their media outlets are trying to distract the world community's attention from their own problems and to shift the responsibility for their solution upon others.
At present, Turkmenistan is actively developing partnership with the EU and its bodies in such important spheres as oil and gas, energy, trade, textile industry, transport, communications and other spheres. The results of bilateral economic cooperation are graphic evidence of that. In particular, trade turnover between Turkmenistan and EU countries rose to US $ 1,6 bln in 2005.
In this context, Turkmenistan has been maintaining and strengthening the relations with European Commission and EU programmes for a number of years now. Regular meetings of the joint EU-Turkmenistan committee discuss issues of development of trade-economic cooperation. The last such meeting was held in Ashgabat on June 1, 2006.
Simultaneously, one of the effective forms of our partnership is annual EU-Turkmenistan meetings on human rights. It should be stressed that Turkmenistan, being a member of big international organizations, above all, the UN and OSCE, and a party to basic human rights convention, is strictly adhering to its commitments in the field of humanitarian dimension. Wishing to develop cooperation in this field, the EU Parliament delegation visited Turkmenistan on June 19-22, 2006. It held a number of meetings in the Mejlis (Parliament), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Institute for Democracy and Human Rights, Supreme Council on Science and Technologies of Turkmenistan and Turkmen State University. The EU MPs expressed their satisfaction with the talks they held there, as well as with the level of partnership with Turkmenistan. They noted that the visit was one of the stages of developing long-term cooperation.
Taking into account positive experience of cooperation with respectable international organizations where EU occupies an import place, Turkmenistan clearly sees its prospects in constellation of politically stable, economically developed and democratic states.
Proceeding from the above-mentioned, the Turkmen side expresses utmost bewilderment and concern with the article in "Nezavisimaya gazeta" newspaper and regards it as deliberate provocation."
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan also informed that a relevant verbal note was forwarded to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.