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Economy is basis
New buildings main attractions of Turkmenistan, Trud Daily writes

Recently the chairman of board of Gazprom Alexey Miller has discussed with the president of Turkmenistan Saparmurat Niyazov bilateral cooperation in gas sphere. The opportunity of purchase and transportation of Turkmen natural gas by Russia was discussed. Reconstruction of the pipeline, construction of new lines in this connection is not excluded. Russia and Turkmenistan plan to sign long-term agreement on gas. It is supposed, that starting from 2005 Russia will import 10 billion cubic meters of gas by the year 2008. It is necessary to note, that present positive balance in foreign trade of Turkmenistan (as a results of 2002 export exceeded import more than for 700 million USD) is a result of competent investment policy as well. The same can be said about realization of enough large transport projects such as laying of Tedzhen - Serahs railway, which connected with the Iranian Meshed provides an opportunity for trains going between Istanbul and Beiging. Branch line Turkmenabat-Kerki and a 200-kilometer gas main Korpej - Kurt - Kui, put into operation in 1997built in republic under the international standards must be stressed as well.

In general, construction is the main sphere the Turkmen authorities pay much attention. Visitors of Ashkhabad - diplomats, politicians and businessmen - first of all mote the changes in shape of capital of Turkmenistan. And those who did not visited Ashkhabad after collapse of the USSR, do not recognize the city. On the eve of the Day of National Flag marked in Turkmenistan February 19, the president Saparmurat Niyazov will take part in the opening ceremonies of a 25-storeyed palace where the ministries and departments of an oil and gas complex of the country will be located. Generally in the capital of Turkmenistan 12 stored comfortable apartment houses are erected, tens other important objects will be put into operation in Ashkhabad.

Foreign Mass Media are keen on disputes on whether there was an attempt upon the life of the Turkmen leader, they discuss features of his power, but do not notice the everyday routine work allowing rather intensively to develop a national economy.The lion's share of Turkmen economy is construction. Some of critics accuse the president of excessive hobby for investments in this branch of economy. They offer to direct this money for increasing the salaries. Meantime, the Turkmen leader says if we did move sources into development from the very beginning, we still would remain on the edge of civilizations.

Having come in 1985 to the power in the most backward in the social and economic plan republic of the USSR, Turkmenbashi needed to exert considerable efforts to move the decision on construction of a school in Kara Kum. Therefore, it is quite natural, that after finding independence considerable incomes from sale of hydrocarbons were first of all used for creation of an elementary infrastructure. Gaining of the official status of the state in December of 1995 fixed by a special resolution of the general Assembly of the United Nations, became the next stimulus to transformation of provincial Turkmen capital into one of the most beautiful cities of present Central Asia.

An international airport was built here, modern highways were laid, a street of hotels were built under individual projects. A presidential palace was built with the help of French firm Buige. 3 thousand places Palace of the congresses and the arts Ruhiet (Spirituality) was constructed. Not far from is the palace of Justice or "Turkmen pentagon" - a building of the Ministry of Defence. Farther is a building of parliament. Next to it is a supermodern Central Bank.Passing further from the center one can see two stadiums - "Olympic" and "Kopet Dagh". Here is the National Museum for construction of which the government spent 38 million USD, supermarkets and the high-altitude apartment houses outwardly resembling palaces. The open and closed pools, parking places and dry-cleaners operate. Apartments are equipped with home appliances. Height of ceilings is 4 meters. Certainly, Ashkhabad is a card of Turkmenistan, therefore a special attention is paid to it. But it can not be stressed that other regions suffer. For the last years the regions underwent serious changes as well. The textile industry, having started new factories in capital and its suburbs, today actively develops in small regional centers.

The main branch of the country is oil and gas. Modernization of Turkmenbashi oil refining factory (former Krasnovodsk factory). It is a subject of a special pride of the president. It was possible to realize the program worse 1,5 billion USD and to create on the place of the old enterprise with the worn out equipment a complex of oil refining factories with advanced technological equipment in the Central Asian region. Due to this Turkmenistan not only has finished up to the world standards quality of processing of the petroleum, but also has mastered new kinds of production. For example, polypropylene and the lubricant oils going now on export.

...Maybe the observers who consider that the present monument to the first president of country Saparmurat Niyazov are not his gilt statues, but the erected buildings are right.

Ashkhabad - Moscow.
Trud Daily

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By Nikolay Fedotov

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