13.10.11 22:39

What kind of wind makes waves?

About some nuances of information face-off

The State News Agency of Turkmenistan (TDH) held a press conference with participation of the representative of British company “Gaffney, Cline & Associates”, which completed the second phase of independent audit of gas reserves of Turkmenistan's largest deposits. Representatives of foreign media as well as foreign diplomats attended the press conference.

As the company’s business development manager Jim Gillett said at the press conference, it has been confirmed that the initial geological reserves of gas fields of Southern Yoloten-Osman, Minara and Yashlar contain a maximum of 26.2 trillion cubic meters of gas, which puts this natural “blue fuel” larder in the second place in the world.

As TDH noted, this information is “actually a guarantee of Turkmenistan's natural gas supplies in any amount to the current and prospective gas pipelines."
Obviously, this comment came in response to “opinions of well-known experts” that have been picked by foreign mass media. For example, in the recent edition of Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper, the head of a certain National Energy Institute, Sergey Pravosudov informed readers in his article that the reserves of Southern Yoloten-Osman field “allegedly exceed 10 trillion cubic meters of gas." At the same time, the author casts doubt on the prospects of development of this field, because, according to him, it is "very difficult" for some reason. The imaginary obstacles did not seem to be a problem for companies from South Korea, China and the UAE, which back in 2009 signed contracts worth US $ 9.7 billion for development of Southern Yoloten-Osman.

One can easily suggest that all these “difficulties” are invented every day by numerous Russian overt and imaginary experts in the framework of great confrontation to the idea of the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline that could be partially fed by the resource base of Southern Yoloten-Osman field. There was a great deal of talk about the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline following the September 12 decision by the EU Council, approving the mandate of the Commission on tripartite negotiations between EU, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan to sign a legally binding agreement for implementation of this project. Today, Turkmenistan has up to 50 billion cubic meters of commercial gas for exports. Sales of this gas are, obviously, in economic interest of the country. Therefore, Ashgabat is interested in new export markets as much as Europe in new suppliers.

As is known, Russia expressed regret on September 13 over the EU decision, because of economic interests that do not consider easing Europe's dependence on Russian gas supplies. Accordingly, the battles on the information front pursue a simple goal – to cast doubt on the idea of the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline. An ecological factor is presented as the main argument of the opponents of the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline. They allege that laying the pipeline will disturb the biological balance of the sea. Following this logic, it's time to start worrying about the inhabitants of the Baltic and Black Seas, in the bottom of which Russia built and put into operation the Nord Stream and Blue Stream pipelines. It looks like the Baltic and the Black Sea have less salty, and, therefore, less aggressive water environment than the Caspian Sea, and that these seas have not been polluted with explosive debris of the Second World War and the remains of sunken warships from different countries ...

And who said that hundreds of technical oil pipelines built in the northern part of the Caspian Sea can not be the main source of pollution, as exactly the same pipelines caused the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico? And isn’t it the anthropogenic pollution from the Caspian oil fields that occasionally lead to the death of seals and migratory birds?
Another stock argument of the opponents of the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline is the uncertain status of the sea. They claim that without the five-sided agreement Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan have no right to make important decisions on major projects such as construction of a gas pipeline. However, one should not forget that the seabed in the central and northern parts of the Caspian Sea was separately divided by Russia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, who safely developing their parts of the shelf. Why Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan can not have the same right for division of the sea bottom for implementation of joint offshore projects?

The Russian side probably understands the obvious weakness of these arguments. When there is a lack of logical reasons, then one can deliberately try to flex muscles. Is it a coincidence that a group of Russian navy in the Caspian Sea has been just strengthened with two modern ships – Tatarstan and Dagestan with high-powered weapons? Is it a coincidence that last week a group of rocket ships of the Russian Caspian Flotilla set out to sea, where it had tactical exercises? The details were not disclosed, but we want to believe that this was not a training on bombing of pipelines ...

Surprisingly, the beginning of a new information “war of gas pipelines” coincided with the start of a new “anti-Turkmen” information campaign in the Russian press. Many recent publications in the Russian media talked about the alleged infringement upon the rights of not only “dual citizen” of Turkmenistan and Russia, but even ... any fair-haired people in the country! The authors of “unmasking” publications apparently do not even know that in some indigenous Turkmen tribes with centuries-old history children are born with light skin, and they are far from black-haired ...

The dismissal of holders of dual citizenship form the public prosecutor’s offices of Turkmenistan was a pretext to start the “slanderous” campaign. The outraged authors of articles are surely not familiar with Article 16 of Part 7 of the Federal Law “On Civil Service in the Russian Federation”, saying that “a citizen can not be admitted into the civil service, and a civil servant can not be in the civil service in case ... of holding citizenship of another state (other states), unless otherwise stipulated by an international treaty of the Russian Federation.”

It is known that there is no such treaty between Russia and Turkmenistan, as well as within the CIS. Accordingly, given this law, any citizen, who in addition to Russian also has Turkmen citizenship, will be denied admission to the civil service in the Russian Federation.
One can assume that if every civil servant of the Russian Federation had a few passports of other countries, and each of them could act against the interests of Russia, counting on diplomatic protection from these countries, the domestic and foreign policy of Russia would have drastically differed from the present one ... It is only in the colonial countries that cases where high-ranking officials had a second citizenship can be still recorded.

Turkmenistan exercises its constitutional right to protect national interests when it denies, along with other countries, employment in the security agencies, public prosecutor’s offices and other law enforcement agencies for citizens with a second passport. All these nuances are consciously not taken into account by the authors of the publications, doing sponsored articles. They often unknowingly confuse Turkmenistan with Tajikistan or Ashgabat with Tashkent and continue vigorously defending “human rights” ...
Daria Popova

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