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Turkmenistan paving way to Europe
Vremia Novostey daily accused Ashkhabad of virtual gas trade

Official Turkmenistan is continuing an active advertising campaign of its gas export potential. Recently, the state minister of Turkey Kurshad Tuzmen visited Ashkhabad recently. During the meeting with the Turkmen president Saparmuart Niyazov the sides discussed possible transportation of Turkmen gas via the territory of Turkey to the European markets. While talking into consideration this news, semiofficial internet site Turkmenistan.ru issued a statement quoting the press office of the Turkmen presidential administration, entiteled "Turkey is ready of contribute to the export of Turkmen gas to Europe". This PR step was rather successful, for some Russian agencies used this news, without checking it out. However, in fact, if reading carefully the statements by the Turkish minister, made at the press conference in Ashkhabad and quoted by Reuters, it becomes obviouse that the Turkish minister said nothing about readiness of Turkey to assist export of Turkmen gas. Vice-versa, Mr. Tuzmen in his statement touched upon the problems, which made obstacles on gas cooperation between Turkey and Turkmenistan. Moreover, if the authors of Turkmenistan.ru quote the Turkish minister allegedly saying that "Turkmenistan is selling its gas to other states for different prices," then Reuters brings another quotation: "Gas from Turkmenistan could be bought by acceptable price, however today its price is high, since it comes from other states. While taking into consideration this circumstance, Turkey, Iran, Russia and Azerbaijan must work together to transport this gas to Europe."Then the Turkish minister stressed while commenting the agreement signed between the both states on purchase of Turkmen gas that: "Turkey needs to reconsider the prices for Turkmen gas and need to reconsider its obligations." Thus the prognoses by official Ashkhabad on the future gas export to Europe by the Southern route are far from being real, as it was in mid 90th. Then many agreements and contracts were signed by Turkmenistan, statements on creation of a consourtium were made, pipeline routes to Turkey - via Iran and via the Caspian Sea and Azerbaijan were drawen up. However, then the Iranian direction was rejected by US, participation of Azerbaijan was unlikable by Turkmenistan. And now Turkmenistan is starting a new PR campaign for increasing gas prices. Arkadiy Dubnov Vremia Novostey daily. 23.05.03 From editorial staff of Turkmenistan.ru:

We agree with the authour of this article that any translation from any language can not be a 100% correct. However, one question bothers us: why translation of the statement by the Turkish state ministert into Russian (the language Ashkhabad's correspondent of Reuters is working), and then into English and back to Russian (the language the author of the article quoted) can be considered more correct than the translation of Ashkhabad's correspondent of Turkmenistan.ru from Turkish language directely to Russian? We trust our correspondents more thatn anyone else. Moreover, the essense of statement of Turkish Minister even in interpretation of the Vremia Novostey reporter is the same: Turkmenistan is selling its gas for rather acceptable prices, and Turkey regrets that it has no opportunity to buy Turkmen fuel, buying gas from other states.

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