The prospects of further enhancement of Turkmen-Russian cooperation in such areas as trade, shipbuilding, transport and humanitarian projects have been discussed during a video conference between DPM, foreign minister Rashid Meredov and Astrakhan region governor Igor Babushkin.
The head of the Astrakhan region proposed to establish cooperation in the field of joint industrial shipbuilding. According to Babushkin, Astrakhan shipyards could assemble ship hulls, with following equipping at Turkmen shipbuilding enterprises.
The basis for such cooperation has been already laid, since over the past decade Astrakhan shipyards have successfully completed a number of orders for Turkmenistan.
In turn, Meredov said that Turkmenistan is interested in building container ships.
The sides considered ways to increase trade turnover. Thus, the Astrakhan region is ready to supply the Turkmen market with grain, timber, special purpose pipes, nets and fish feed, construction and agricultural products.
And the Astrakhan market has a demand for textiles produced in Turkmenistan, seasonal vegetables and fruits, cotton fiber, polypropylene and other goods.
Babushkin said the mutual trade would succeed at availability of smooth-operating transport and logistics system. He suggested establishing a direct ferry service between the ports of Turkmenbashi and Olya.
“Our ferry service works well in the east-west direction. However, there is a desire to develop north-south routes. In this regard, Astrakhan is our number one partner. We are actively looking for transport routes to deliver goods to Turkmenistan, and the port of Olya is of particular interest in this regard. The ferry service should become a living artery”, Meredov stressed.
Another issue related to the transport sector is the launch of regular flights between Astrakhan and Ashgabat. The governor of Astrakhan region voiced the possibility of organizing seasonal air travels.
In addition to economic cooperation, Turkmenistan and the Astrakhan region enjoy good humanitarian relations. According to the administration of the Astrakhan region, more than 2,200 citizens of Turkmenistan are studying in Astrakhan universities this academic year.
The foreign minister of Turkmenistan noted the high quality of higher education, received by Turkmen students, in particular in medical and marine specialties. /// nCa, 1 June 2020