Magazine article Europe-East

Energy : Eu and Turkmenistan Strengthen Cooperation

Magazine article Europe-East

Energy : Eu and Turkmenistan Strengthen Cooperation

Article excerpt

The EU and Turkmenistan signed, on 26 May, a memorandum of understanding on reinforcing mutual cooperation in the field of energy. The EU was represented by Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs, with Turkmen President Gurbankuly Berdymuhammedov signing for the Central Asian republic. The legally non-binding agreement mentions bilateral energy cooperation in the areas of investment, production, energy technology, energy efficiency, renewables and the transport and trade of energy products. The European Commission has similar energy memoranda with Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Ukraine.

"Turkmenistan can be an attractive destination for EU investments for the development of new gas and oil fields, and at the same time, the EU offers an attractive consumer market for Turkmen energy products," Piebalgs said in a statement. Speaking after an April visit to Turkmenistan, External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner also stressed the importance of diversifying both energy resources and transit routes.

Piebalgs signed the document while on a flying visit to Turkmenistan, also meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister Tachberdi Tagiev and Bayrammurad Muradov, the executive director of the State Agency for Management and Use of Hydrocarbon Resources.

Human rights issues do not hinder relations with Turkmenistan. President Berdymuhammedov's predecessor, Saparmurat Niyazov, ruled Turkmenistan for over 20 years with an iron hand banning video games, car radios and even long hair for men. …

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