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14 Sep, 2009 07:12

Russian and Turkmen leaders meet on gas

All gas problems between Russia and Turkmenistan have been cleared, according to the President of Turkmenistan, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, who met his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev, at the weekend.

The states agreed on the price for gas but have not discussed the resumption of gas deliveries from Turkmenistan which were halted for "technical reasons." Russian gas company, ITERA, has signed an agreement with the Turkmen State Agency on the development of the 21st bloc in the Turkmen sector of the Caspian Sea.

Mikhail Krutikhin of RusEnergy Consulting gave RT Business his view of the visit, noting that the visit took place against a backdrop of local disenchantment with Gazprom.

“I believe that President Medvedev faces two very contradictory challenges in his Central Asia trip. First, he must clean up the mess that Gazprom has left in its relations with Turkmenistan, because the President of Turkmenistan just does not want to receive the President of Gazprom, Mr Miller, because Gazprom is a bad word in that country, after the Russian gas company managed to violate all the promises that it had given to the government of Turkmenistan, in terms of building pipelines and exploring new reserves of gas. And even the long term contract that they had to buy Turkmen gas at European prices. Gazprom is not buying that gas, and Turkmenistan is very angry. This is why Mr Medvedev is bringing another company, a private corporation from Russia, ITERA company, which has very good relations with Turkmenistan. It had worked there but was squeezed out by Gazprom, after Gazprom decided that it was its hunting turf."