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Ukraine seeks resumption of gas supplies from Turkmenistan as alternative to Russia
Central Asia | business | 12:28, 01 April 2015 | 1406

AKIPRESS.COM - Ukraine-1Ukraine has said it wants to restore natural gas deliveries from energy-rich Turkmenistan as it tries to reduce reliance on Russia for the fuel.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's office said in a statement on March 27 that the option was discussed during talks with the visiting Turkmen foreign minister Rashid Meredov.

The meeting took place on March 26 within the official visit of Meredov to Ukraine.

Until 2006, Turkmenistan supplied Ukraine with 36 billion cubic meters (1.3 trillion cubic feet) of gas annually in exchange for cash and goods.

Turkmenistan wishes to widen its client base, while Ukraine wants to wean itself off Russian gas, so any deal would be eagerly embraced by both parties.

A deal would require acquiescence from Kazakhstan and Russia as transit nations, however. Kazakhstan is unlikely to pose an obstacle, but Russia would be expected to be less forthcoming.

In Kiev, Poroshenko and Meredov expressed satisfaction with the high level of interstate relations between Turkmenistan and Ukraine in political, economic, cultural and humanitarian spheres, the press service of Turkmen foreign ministry said Tuesday.

During the talks, the sides discussed issues related to the forthcoming visit of President of Ukraine to Turkmenistan in the first half of this year. Also, the Turkmen side invited the Ukrainian side to take part in the High Level International Conference titled "Policy of Neutrality: international cooperation for the sake of peace, security and development", which will be held on December 12, 2015 in Ashgabat.

Poroshenko thanked the Turkmen side for the invitation and expressed his willingness to assist in the preparation of the activities on the territory of Ukraine and interest in deepening cooperation with Turkmenistan.

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