Putin and Turkmen President discuss bilateral cooperation

Путин и президент Туркмении обсудят двустороннее сотрудничество

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday will meet with President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, who will visit Russia, the press service of the Kremlin.

“The first of November at the invitation of the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin in Russia on a working visit President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov”, — stated in the message.

It is expected that during the talks at the highest level will address key issues in bilateral cooperation. They will also exchange views on topical regional issues.

The last time the President of Turkmenistan visited Russia for talks with Russian leadership in December 2011.

The gas issue

Some experts said that during the meeting of presidents can be raised by the resumption of purchases of Turkmen gas, as well as the provision of the Russian loan.

As noted by Deputy Director of the Center for the study of post-Soviet space of Moscow state University Alexander Karavaev, the recovery of gas purchases perhaps if they received some guarantees not only economic but also political in terms of the fact that Turkmenistan will start to pay more attention to the Russian integration projects in the field of economy and the projects that are associated with collective security in Central Asia, namely the CSTO.

Thus, according to experts, in the result of the visit, Berdimuhamedov will not be a sharp reversal of Turkmenistan. “But if this trend of movement towards Russia will be noticeable, the Ashgabat will be able to fully restore its membership in the CIS and, possibly, become a member of the CSTO. But it’s a slow process. Despite the difficulties that Turkmenistan will not be able to quickly find a compromise between the neutral status of the country and more active participation in collective research projects under the Russian auspices in Central Asia. But such a compromise could be found”, says caravan.

The expert believes that Ashgabat is now in a difficult economic situation and the topics of credit, beginning of purchases of Turkmen gas from Gazprom and other major companies, for example, Rosneft, which also has gas projects, will occur, given the economic crisis and lack of funds for the payment of loans taken out by Turkmenistan.

But, as suggested by caravan, this will require a number of compromises related to the fact that Turkmenistan must take a more active part in Russian integration projects and to become more active in the ensemble of collective interaction.

In January 2016, “Turkmengaz” has informed that “Gazprom” since January 1, prematurely terminated a contract with him. The reason for the termination of the Russian holding company called serious breach of contract on the part of “Turkmengaz”. On the background of termination of the contract with Turkmenistan, “Gazprom” signed a purchase contract in 2016, 4 billion cubic meters of gas from other Central Asian company “Uzbekneftegaz”.

As reported in September, the Deputy Chairman of the Board “Gazprom” Alexander Medvedev, Gazprom took a two-year pause in the purchase of gas of “Turkmengas”.

Security and cooperation

When this caravan does not exclude that, in addition to economic issues, the presidency will focus on security issues in Central Asia and cooperation between Russia and Turkmenistan in the military sphere.

“Was recently conducted by the Russian-Pakistani special forces doctrine. Pakistan and Russia do not unite any agreement in the field of military security, no Alliance commitments, however, shows that military cooperation began to build. Why Turkmenistan, even having a neutral status, not to join these initiatives on a bilateral basis. If on Turkmenistan not prevailed geographic factor direct presence near the centers of Eurasian danger, then it would be possible to watch through your fingers. But Turkmenistan is located directly on the borders with Afghanistan and Iran,” — said the expert.

“Therefore, it is inevitably necessary to consider some steps that even assuming that Ashgabat is no problem, it was logical at least for the future to think about, which can lead to the situation when Ashgabat can be alone with these challenges,” the expert added.

Inter-regional cooperation

Turkmenistan is actively cooperating with a number of Russian regions. So, in October, talks were held Berdimuhamedov with President of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov.

During the talks the parties noted that the prospects for development of bilateral economic partnerships arise with ongoing in Turkmenistan comprehensive programs aimed at industrialization, modernization of industrial infrastructure and creation of new high-tech production oriented to output of competitive products.

Therefore, the heads of Turkmenistan and Tatarstan discuss development partnership the Turkmen ministries and departments with the automobile plant “KAMAZ”, JSC “Tatneft”, JSC “Kazan helicopter plant” and other enterprises.

Special attention is paid to the energy sector, where there is scope for cooperation in the field of refining and petrochemicals.

Also, the actual prospects for cooperation in transport and the creation of transit transport corridors.

Turkmenistan is actively developing trade and economic cooperation with Tatarstan. So, Turkmenistan is one of the biggest buyers of cars “KAMAZ”. In various sectors of the Turkmen economy used a few thousand of these cars. So in 2008, in Ashgabat was opened shopping and educational service center of “KAMAZ”.

In addition, 28 Oct Berdimuhamedov and Governor of the Astrakhan region of Russia Alexander Zhilkin discussed in Ashgabat on the issues of development of economic partnership between Turkmenistan and Astrakhan region, local media reported. The sides discussed topical issues of bilateral interaction in trade-economic and transport-communication sphere.

Turkmenistan in the Turkmen-Russian cooperation expands partnership with Russian regions directly. Important partners of Turkmenistan in this area are also Sverdlovsk oblast and St. Petersburg.

Caspian group

The five Caspian States (Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan) continue to discuss the question of the legal status of the Caspian sea. Negotiations and consultations are regularly held at the level of foreign ministries of the countries and experts.

The question of determining the legal status of the Caspian sea have gained relevance after the collapse of the USSR, when the emergence of new subjects of international law — States of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan — raised the question of the delimitation of the Caspian between the five countries. The difficulty of determining the status of the Caspian sea are related, in particular, with the recognition of its lake or sea, the delimitation of which is governed by different provisions of international law.

As previously reported, the Russian foreign Ministry, the Russian Federation considers it possible to conclude a Convention on the Caspian sea in early 2017.

Elections in Turkmenistan

The meeting of the leaders of the two States takes place during the presidential election campaign in Turkmenistan, which started on October 24. According to the decree of the Majlis (Parliament) of Turkmenistan, elections will be held on February 12, 2017.

The upcoming presidential elections will be held in other conditions than the previous one in February 2012. From 14 September 2016 in Turkmenistan has a new Constitution, according to which the presidential term was increased from five to seven years, removed the age limit of 70 years for candidates.

In the upcoming presidential election will be attended by three political parties: Democratic party of Turkmenistan, the Party of Industrialists and entrepreneurs and the agrarian party.

The current President of Turkmenistan 59-year-old Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov headed the country since 2007, in 2012-m to year he was re-elected for a new term.