14.06.0704:53

FRUITFUL HALF YEAR
Igor Blatov: Russian-Turkmen relations reached a qualitatively new level
In his article on the occasion of the 17th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration on the State Sovereignty of the Russian Federation by the 1st congress of the people's deputies of the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic the Russian Ambassador to Turkmenistan, Igor Blatov, noted that the relations between two countries have reached a qualitatively new level in the last six months. The article was published in "Neutral Turkmenistan" newspaper yesterday.

Over the reported period "both states have expressed mutual desire to help strengthen the relations of neighborliness and mutual understanding between the Caspian states, the development of equal cooperation between them and the soonest adoption of a new legal status of the Caspian Sea."

Dwelling on the economic and cultural cooperation, the ambassador noted that Russia has traditionally been one of the leading partners of Turkmenistan in trade. In particular, of Turkmenistan's total exports the share of exports to the Russian Federation was 47% and imports from Russia to Turkmenistan stood at 9,5% in 2006.

Along with Gasprom, LukOil, Stroytransgas, Soyuzneftegaz, Itera and other leading Russian companies are eager to take part in energy projects in Turkmenistan.

Over 1000 KamAz trucks have been supplied to Turkmenistan over the last year. There are plans to further increase and expand the assortment of products of the Russian motor-giant and to increase its investment activity in the Turkmen market. In the future, service-training centers of KamAz will be opened in all provinces of Turkmenistan.

MTS company has got firmly established in the domestic market of cellular communication. In 2006, the number of users of the Russian company's services doubled to 160 thousand subscribers in Turkmenistan. Apart from the expansion of investments in the telecommunication sector, Russian AFK Sistema, incorporating MTS company, is ready to work with the Turkmen side on the issue of implementing a number of joint projects on development of transport and tourist infrastructures in Turkmenistan.

In 2006, Syloviye Machiny company completed the modernization of a power unit and supplies of spare parts to the Mary power station. In February 2007, Russian Siberia company opened regular flights to Ashgabat.

Humanitarian cooperation between Russia and Turkmenistan is also developing steadily. "The proposal of the Turkmen leader to open a branch of the Moscow State University at the projected International University of Ruhnama as well as to open branches of the Russian State University of Oil and Gas named after I.M.Gubkin in Ashgabat and Balkanabat arouse interest in Russia," the ambassador said.

Touching on cooperation in the foreign policy, Igor Blatov noted that "in the international arena our countries act as equal partners and friends whose positions on urgent problems of modernity are close to and concur with each other."

"Moscow is satisfied with clear and unambiguous statements of the Turkmen leadership that Turkmenistan as a neutral state is neither part of any military blocks or alliances in peaceful or war time and does not provide its territory to foreign military bases," the head of the Russian diplomatic mission noted.

"Neutral Turkmenistan" newspaper, 12.06.2007
TURKMENISTAN.RU, 2007