28 Aug 2009 12:26

Turkmenistan could supply over 2 bln cubic meters of gas to Bulgaria

ASHGABAT. Aug 28 (Interfax) - Turkmenistan could supply two billion or more cubic meters of gas to Bulgaria once supply routes have been agreed upon, Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow confirmed while on his first formal visit to Sofia on Thursday.

Energy was one of the key issues on the agenda of the high-level talks held in Bulgarian capital, Turkmen television said on Friday.

Turkmenistan sees Bulgaria as one of its key partners in forming the future configuration of energy routes across Eurasia, said Berdimuhamedow, thanking Bulgaria for supporting Turkmenistan's initiative to ensure the reliable and stable transit of energy resources,.

"Today's talks have confirmed that both parties are committed to the key parameters of their energy cooperation such as equal relations between supplier and consumer, diversification of energy routes, fair price criteria, and the need to provide full guarantees of the protection of power systems," he said.

Turkmenistan has "a vast, truly unlimited potential for increasing these supplies," said Berdimuhammedow, setting out Turkmenistan's position on the diversification of energy supplies to global markets, including Bulgaria.

"Given our neutral status we are following the practice of selling gas exclusively on the border," he said, reiterating that Turkmenistan believes that these issues should be resolved with a consensus of gas suppliers, transiting nations and buyers.

The fuel and energy sector is one of the priorities in the bilateral partnership and Bulgarian companies are ready to take part in hydrocarbon production and exploitation projects in Turkmenistan, said Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov, having also invited Turkmen companies to cooperate in this area with Bulgaria.

The high-level talks resulted in the signing of a whole package of documents, in particular, a joint statement, intergovernmental agreements about lifting visa requirements for holders of diplomatic and official passports and on tourism cooperation.

From Bulgaria, Berdimuhamedow headed to Antalia, Turkey, on a working visit.