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22.09.10á15:47

Partnership without stopovers
Constructive dialogue between Ashgabat and Kazan rose to new level of development
The August visit of President of the Republic of Tatarstan Rustam Minihanov to Turkmenistan was technically another phase of the comprehensive dialogue between Ashgabat and Kazan, which has been going on for several years. At the same time, this visit was exclusive in nature, as it was the first visit of Rustam Minihanov to Turkmenistan in his capacity as the newly elected President of Tatarstan.

The inauguration of new President of the Republic of Tatarstan Rustam Minihanov in Kazan on 25 March this year was not overlooked in Turkmenistan. Congratulations received by Rustam Minihanov from President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, participation of a high profile delegation of Turkmenistan in the inaugural celebrations highlighted the special status of relations established between the region of the Russian Federation and independent Turkmenistan.

Rustam Minihanov, who previously headed the Cabinet of Ministers of Tatarstan, took active part in the development of cooperation between Ashgabat and Kazan. His visit to Turkmenistan was intended to confirm the continuity of trust and openness in the mutually beneficial partnership established in recent years. As the established practice of bilateral cooperation proves, Turkmenistan and Tatarstan have great many reasons to further build and strengthen the economic, cultural and humanitarian ties.

If we take into account the economic indicators alone, it should be recalled that trade between Ashgabat and Kazan over the past five years has grown almost 17 times, and it amounted to over a hundred million US dollars in 2009. The leading companies of Tatarstan such as Kazanorgsintez, Sergo Plant, Tatneft, Tatkhimpharmpreparaty, KAMAZ, Nizhnekamsk Tire Plant have contracts for the supply of high quality products to Turkmen consumers.

This time, President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov recieved Rustam Minihanov on the Caspian Sea shore, in Avaza resort that grew much prettier in the last year. In Avaza, the distinguished guest could combine business with pleasure. He held an intensive round of negotiations and enjoyed moments of relaxation in comfortable surroundings of the rapidly developing national tourist zone. By the way, one of the enterprises of Tatarstan is making its contribution to the implementation of the large-scale international project. KER-Holding received a certificate for a plot of land for the construction of a sanatorium with a skating rink and indoor ski resort with the year-round cycle of work.

During the talks, the sides noted that there was established an effective model of interaction between a neighboring independent state and a Russian region, who is carrying out its external activities within the framework of the Russian legislation. Today, Tatarstan is an undisputed leader in development of such forms of cooperation. At the same time, the expansion of Tatarstan-Turkmenistan relations contributes to the further strengthening of friendship and constructive cooperation between the Russian Federation and Turkmenistan as a whole.

Tatarstan was the first Russian regions to open an official representation in Turkmenistan. The partners discussed the possibility of establishing a permanent bilateral working group on trade-economic, scientific-technical and cultural cooperation. In organizational terms, this is, in fact, the advanced method in the global integration practice aimed at maximizing the benefits of partnerships.

As part of the talks, the sides agreed that the bilateral cooperation in the energy sector was very promising, taking into account the existing experience, as well as the huge resource potential of Turkmenistan and its energy policy aimed at fundamental modernization of the energy industry.

An important part of the visit was the signing of a contract between the State Concern Turkmennebit and OAO Tatneft for providing services to enhance oil output in the southeastern sector of oil field N 4 being developed by Goturdepenebit Oil and Gas Department.

According to Rustam Minihanov, the oil and gas industry of Tatarstan is well developed, and Tatarstan is ready to offer services to the Turkmen partners in various areas, including the extraction and processing of hydrocarbon resources and service work.

The President of the Republic of Tatarstan also presented copies of ancient manuscripts of poems by the classic of Turkmen literature, Magtymguly Fragi, to President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov. The originals of the unique documents, which were found during archaeological expeditions in Astrakhan region in 60s -70s last century, are being kept in the department of manuscripts and rare books of the Science Library of Kazan University. In turn, the Turkmen leader presented the distinguished guest with the book "Herbs of Turkmenistan" and two volumes of the book "Turkmen Cuisine".

Discussing the prospects of cooperation in science and education, Rustam Minnikhanov confirmed Tatarstan's readiness to use the existing capacity of the republic to help Turkmen specialists to receive higher education and training. He also said that there are plans to create a joint center for training of Turkmen specialists on the basis of the Academy of Sciences of Tatarstan.

The sides also agreed to hold the Days of Culture of Turkmenistan in the Republic of Tatarstan and the Days of Culture of the Republic of Tatarstan in Turkmenistan. A visit to Turkmenistan by the delegation of artists and cultural workers of Tatarstan, who will present their country's national holiday - Sabantuy, will be another step in the development of humanitarian cooperation.

The friendly atmosphere of meetings between Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and Rustam Minihanov and fruitfulness of the talks are quite convincing evidence of the constructiveness and mutual benefit of the continuous dialogue between the sides. The locomotive of partnership between Tatarstan and Turkmenistan is gaining full speed. It seems that it will be a partnership without stopovers.

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Michail PEREPLESNIN

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