Turkmenistan is discussing diversifying its gas exports and selling gas to European Union countries, President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov said yesterday (29 August) at a joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The former Soviet republic has some of the world’s largest natural gas reserves, and it has been in active discussions about sales to China, India and Afghanistan in recent months.
The Turkmen president said his country was also hoping to sell gas to Europe and had been in discussions with EU leaders to resolve legal and technical issues.
Due to worsening relations with Russia, its increasing dependence on China and fears of destabilisation, Turkmenistan is adjusting its foreign policy and trying to bolster its cooperation with the West in the field of energy and security, writes the Polish think-tank OSW in an analysis.
“We in Turkmenistan are interested in delivering our energy resources to the West,” Berdymukhamedov said, adding that his government had presented the European Commission with proposals for how to proceed.
Turkmen gas deliveries to the EU would come via the Caspian Sea, which will also require approval by Russia and Turkey.
Merkel said she hoped issues could be resolved to allow gas imports from Turkmenistan.
“I hope the problems that still exist can be overcome,” she said.
A rapprochement between Russia and Turkey has revived the stalled TurkStream gas pipeline project that could compete with gas deliveries from Turkmenistan.
TurkStream or Turkish Stream is planned to bring Russian gas under the Black Sea to the European territory of Turkey. Russia plans to sell this gas to Turkey, but also in the EU, via the Greek border.
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday (8 August) that Ankara was ready to take steps towards the implementation of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline project.
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