"Turkmenistan will closely cooperate with Russia in implementing major energy projects, including natural gas supply, developing gas deposits, and exporting Turkmen energy," President Saparmurat Niyazov said during a recent working visit to Moscow. He pointed out that "together with Russia we will move up to Europe and to the east."
The world largest information agencies put these words in the headlines of their reports as they closely, if not with bias, watched the Turkmen-Russian talks at the top level. Today, it can be stated that the main expectations of the observers came true: the sensation took place. Despite assumptions made by many foreign media outlets, the reason for the Turkmen leader's visit to the cold Russian capital was the very positive trends in bilateral relations, namely, the need for coordinated actions in the energy sphere which is of strategic importance not only for the two countries but also for the entire world.
This very fact explains an increased interest on the part of the world mass media in the meeting between Saparmurat Niyazov and Vladimir Putin, for "this is not only an economic, but also a political issue," the Turkmen President said.
The energy security is the most essential factor of economic progress and political stability. Turkmenistan with its huge fuel resources has once again demonstrated its highly responsible and constructive approach towards resolving issues of efficient use of its vast potential in the interest of the world community. This position of our country is getting greater recognition. A visit to Moscow during which the presidents of both states discussed, at Vladimir Putin's suggestion, aspects of Turkmenistan joining Russia in resolution of issues related to energy supplies to the region and Europe was evidence of that.
Emphasizing this fact, observers of leading world media outlets noted a significantly higher role Turkmenistan plays in the formation of a gas balance in the European and international market as a whole. This is also proved by the decision adopted by Saparmurat Niyazov and Vladimir Putting on the expansion of cooperation in the energy field which both leaders regard as the most important one in the Turkmen-Russian cooperation.
"We know that Russia's energy potential is vast and its opportunities are not limited to tackling inter-continental energy problems," the head of Turkmenistan said during the meeting with the Russian leader. He noted that Turkmenistan is prepared to work with Russia in the interests of peace and security. Saparmurat Niyazov, in turn, made a number of proposals on building this partnership both on the basis of existing experience and in conceptually new directions. This initiative was resolutely supported by Vladimir Putin. He stressed the importance of an agreement on Turkmen natural gas supplies to Russia signed in the end of 2005 for the further successful cooperation.
Thus, Turkmenistan and Russia made another stride on the way of strengthening the strategic partnership. As Saparmurat Niyazov said, it will soon get new specific contents that will boost the efficient cooperation of the two states in the most important sphere of their partnership.
The State News Agency Turkmendowlethabarlary (TDH), 24.01.2006.