Topical matters of Turkmen - Ukrainian cooperation were discussed at a meeting between President Saparmurat Niyazov of Turkmenistan and a Ukrainian delegation, chaired by Fuel and Energy Minister Ivan Plachkov, the Cabinet's press service reported.

In particular, the Turkmen leader has offered Ukraine to construct a gas pipeline, by way of discussing investment projects of long-term partnership in the gas sphere.

According to Mr Niyazov, interests of the third partner, Russia, should be taken into consideration, and proposed to hold tripartite negotiations on the mechanism of boosting supplies of "blue fuel" to Ukraine.

Two years ago Mr Niyazov promised the Ukrainian Government to sign a strategic 25-year agreement on supplies of Turkmen gas between 2007 and 2032, but with an essential reservation of shortly starting construction of a new gas pipeline Turkmenistan - Ukraine through the Kazakh and Russian territories. The order for the construction of the new main line was timely and was connected with signing a similar agreement with Russia earlier in April 2003, as the existent gas pipeline Middle Asia - Centre, with the annual capacity of 70 billion cubic meters of gas, passing through Uzbekistan, was lack of carrying capacity. Presently, Turkmenistan, supplies 36 billion cubic meters of natural gas to Ukraine.

The matter of the new gas pipeline construction and other aspects of deepening intergovernmental ties will be discussed during a visit by Prime Minister Yuri Yekhanurov to Turkmenistan.


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