Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin has said in Turkmenistan that the Gazprom gas giant could join in the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas-pipeline project.
Sechin, who is accompanying President Dmitry Medvedev on a visit to Turkmenistan, said Gazprom officials are in talks with Turkmenistan about possibly participating in building the nearly 1,700-kilometer pipeline that would carry some 33 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas from Turkmenistan to Multan, Pakistan, and then further to Fazilka, India.
Turkmenistan's President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov met with Medvedev today at the Caspian port city of Turkmenbashi to discuss gas exports to Russia and the Caspian summit coming up in November.
The leaders of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Iran, Russia, and Turkmenistan are due to meet in Baku to discuss the legal status of the Caspian Sea, which sits on huge deposits of natural gas and oil.
Medvedev said the five littoral states were able to work out the details of use of these resources without the participation of any other countries.
"The Caspian Sea is our treasure and we are capable ourselves of resolving all problems and developing cooperation in the Caspian region," Medvedev said. "And it is the responsibility of the five nations themselves to develop the legal regime with regard to natural resources."
Comments from Sechin and Medvedev indicated Russia is not interested in purchasing more Turkmen gas than it is already this year.
A price dispute led Russia to reduce its imports of Turkmen gas from more than 40 bcm to about 11 bcm in 2010.
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