Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Turkmenistan Reaffirms Commitment To Russian-backed Caspian Gas-pipeline Plan
11-21-2007 - Radio Liberty - In a speech to the cabinet in Ashgabat on November 19, President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov reaffirmed Turkmenistan's support for a Russian plan to construct a new natural-gas pipeline that would skirt the Caspian Sea, ITAR-TASS reported. He explained that "Turkmenistan adheres to its partnership obligations" and stressed that it "is making efforts to develop the Caspian pipeline project." The Russian project was first formulated in May, based on an agreement signed between the Turkmen, Kazakh, and Russian presidents. Speaking after his visit to Turkmenistan for an international energy conference, U.S. Energy Secretary Sam Bodman also said on November 20 that he "was not convinced" that Turkmenistan would fully support a rival U.S.-backed Caspian Sea gas pipeline that would bypass Russian territory.