Ambassador of Russia to Turkmenistan Alexander Blokhin told in interview with TASS about main trends in Turkmen-Russian cooperation highlighting such areas and joint transport corridors, Turkmen gas supplies to Russia and prospects for mutual visa-free regime.
Gazprom purchased around 5 bln cubic meters of gas from Turkmenistan last year as contracted by the sides, Russian Ambassador to Turkmenistan Alexander Blokhin said in an interview with TASS.
In 2021, Russia’s gas producer purchased 10 bln cubic meters of gas from Turkmenistan.
“Gazprom purchased around 5 bln cubic meters of gas from Turkmenistan in 2022. The contract with Turkmenistan that was extended last year, expires in 2024. The contract stipulates the total volume of supplies to Russia at around 5 bln cubic meters for 2022,” he said.
“As for additional volumes, it will depend on how much Turkmenistan will be able to supply beyond the contract,” the ambassador said.
He also noted that Russia and Turkmenistan have a mutual interest in cooperation on the creation of underground gas storage facilities. Negotiations on this issue are underway.
Turkmenistan plans to officially join the agreement on the International North-South Transport Corridor, Russian Ambassador to Turkmenistan Alexander Blokhin said in an interview with TASS, adding that Moscow wholly welcomes the move.
“There is an agreement on the North-South corridor, and Turkmenistan is ready to officially become its member. North-South is an important arterial road amid today’s turbulent political system not only for Russia, but also for Turkmenistan, as it is always beneficial to be a transit country, enjoying additional budget revenues. And I am confident that Turkmenistan is interested in it as much as Russia,” he said.
For Turkmenistan to become a full-fledged member of the agreement, the consent of all participants is necessary, the diplomat said. “At least Russia obviously welcomes the accession, moreover, it recommends that all other countries also greenlight this wish of Turkmenistan,” he noted.
An intergovernmental agreement on the creation of the International North-South Transport Corridor was signed by Russia, India and Iran in 2000, with several other countries joining it later. Moscow ratified the document in 2022. The project is aimed at ensuring the transit of cargo from India, Iran and Persian Gulf countries through Russian territory to Europe.
Russia is ready to switch to a visa-free regime with Turkmenistan, if it expresses such a desire. This was announced by the Russian Ambassador to Ashgabat Alexander Blokhin in an interview with TASS.
“We are ready to liberalize the issue of visa regime, tourism, etc. to the extent that Turkmenistan is ready. I would like to emphasize that we are not imposing anything on Turkmenistan. It is his sovereign right to regulate these relations, we respect its decisions. We are fully prepared from liberalization to complete abolition, as the Turkmen side decides,” he said.
Blokhin recalled that Turkmenistan has a visa regime with absolutely all countries. “But this is an internal matter of each state. Turkmenistan attaches great importance to security issues. In this sense, it is an important priority in our time,” Blokhin added. ///Originally published by TASS, 20 April 2023