Ukraine Desires to Resume Turkmen Gas Imports
Friday 27 March 2015
KIEV (Interfax-Ukraine) – At a meeting with Turkmen Deputy Prime Minister Rashid Meredov, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko reaffirmed his country’s commitment to diversifying natural gas supplies, including with the help of Turkmen gas, the Ukrainian leader’s press service reported.
“The president noted that Ukraine and Turkmenistan have very good relations. Meredov, for his part, stressed that Ukraine is a reliable partner for Turkmenistan, and his country intends to further promote trade and economic cooperation. He welcomed the positive experience of Ukrainian companies’ work in various sectors of the Turkmen economy, including the oil and gas sector, the implementation of major infrastructure projects, etc”, it said.
When reiterating Ukraine’s plans to diversify its gas imports, Poroshenko said that “Ukraine is ready and interested in resuming Turkmen gas imports as an alternative source”, he said.
Ukraine has a well-developed power engineering industry, and Ukrainian state-run enterprises want to provide turbines and gas compressor stations to Turkmenistan, he said.
Until 2006, Turkmenistan supplied Ukraine with 36 bln m³ of gas annually in exchange for cash and goods. Turkmenistan wishes to widen its client base, while Ukraine wants to wean itself off Russian gas, so any deal would be eagerly embraced by both parties. A deal would require acquiescence from Kazakhstan and Russia as transit nations, however. Kazakhstan is unlikely to pose an obstacle, but Russia would be expected to be less cooperative.
The parties also discussed the possibility of restoring air links between Ukraine and Turkmenistan and ways to promote humanitarian cooperation and cultural exchanges.
Poroshenko invited Turkmen investors to Ukraine.
According to the press service, Meredov, speaking on behalf of Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, invited Poroshenko to visit Turkmenistan. The Ukrainian leader, for his part, forwarded an invitation to the Turkmen president.