Dvorkovich Attends Turkmenistan International Gas Congress

Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich conducted a working visit to the city of Turkmenbashi in Turkmenistan, where he took part in a plenary session, entitled “International investment into exploring the gas resources of Turkmenistan: further development of gas condensate deposits at sea and on land” at the Fifth Turkmenistan International Gas Congress in Turkmenbashi.

He conveyed greetings to the hosts on behalf of the President and Prime Minister and thanked them for inviting him to attend the event. “It was important for me to take part in this event, because the gas issue is a priority for my country and I serve as co-chairman of the Russian-Turkmen Commission on Economic Cooperation,” he said.

“The development of the eastern, Asian vector is a priority for Russia, and this applies to cooperation in promoting energy security and stability,” Dvorkovich explained. He pointed out that as a major gas producer, Russia should understand the plans and projects on gas of its colleagues, and what the market is going to look like. He promised that Russia will always be a reliable gas supplier both for Europe and Asia. Dvorkovich recalled that it was Russia that put forward the principles if energy security: “Energy security issues will always be a top priority for us.”

“Gas plays a large role in the economy as a raw material and a huge development resource. Demand for gas won’t decline in the next few decades even despite the development of new technology. Russia’s position is balanced in this respect. We are developing nuclear power engineering, gradually reducing the share of the coal industry, and developing renewable energy sources such as solar and wind energy,” Dvorkovich said.

He emphasised that Russia is open for cooperation and foreign investment in order to implement domestic and foreign projects. “Now our relations are undergoing a strength test because of some short-sighted decisions of Western states, but we are confident that we’ll be able to continue productive cooperation,” Dvorkovich said. Russia will cooperate with all partners in international organisations as well, for instance, as part of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF). He recalled that its charter provides for the status of an observer country. “I believe participation in the work of the forum may be of practical interest to Turkmenistan,” he said, adding that Russia is ready to facilitate its invitation to the forum so that its representatives could take part in a regular ministerial meeting scheduled for early November 2014 in Qatar.

“We consider our cooperation with the Asia-Pacific region very promising. The demand for hydrocarbons in this part of the world is growing much more quickly than in Europe. According to estimates by the International Energy Agency (IEA), the demand for gas alone will increase 150% by 2035 to exceed one trillion cubic metres per year,” Dvorkovich said, adding that this is also confirmed by the results of the recently concluded visit of President Vladimir Putin to the People’s Republic of China. Russia’s Chinese partners displayed practical interest in Novatel’s Yamal LNG, he said.

Dvorkovich emphasised that Russia does not compare Asian countries with European ones. He spoke about the transnational Turkmenistan-Afghanistan- Pakistan-India (TAPI) project. “Our companies are interested in joining this project. I hope that the consortium will manage to implement the project and ensure its security,” he said.

“Russian companies will continue actively working in Turkmenistan. We do not pursue short-term interests but are engaged in long-term partnership and friendship between our two countries,” Dvorkovich said in conclusion.

Dvorkovich and Turkmen Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov, who are co-chairmen of the Intergovernmental Russian-Turkmen Commission on Economic Cooperation, met on the forum’s sidelines. They noted that bilateral trade in 2013 grew by 12.6% over 2012. Dvorkovich expressed his confidence that trade will continue growing this year as well.

At the meeting Dvorkovich and Meredov discussed the implementation of decisions adopted at the commission’s meeting on 17 September 2013 in Ashgabat.

Speaking about Russian companies working in Turkmenistan they noted that large Russian companies, such as KamAZ and Stroytransgas, to name a few, are actively operating there. “It is very important that interest on the part of Russian business in carrying out different projects in your country remains consistently high,” Dvorkovich said.

Dvorkovich and Meredov noted the major contribution made by Russian regions, for instance, the Astrakhan and Nizhny Novgorod regions, the Republic of Tatarstan and the city of St Petersburg, into the development of bilateral trade and economic cooperation.

They also discussed cooperation in education, the energy industry and transport communication – by sea, air and on motorways. In addition, they spoke about the forthcoming international events to be attended by Russian and Turkmen representatives.

Dvorkovich and Meredov agreed to hold the commission’s eighth meeting in the latter half of 2014 in Russia.

Source: The Russian Government, May 22, 2014

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