Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: Asia-Pacific
Front Page 
Middle East 
South Asia 
From Our Own Correspondent 
Letter From America 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Louise Hidalgo reports from Ashgabat
The Turkmens have been powerless to sell their gas for two years
 real 28k

Saturday, 18 December, 1999, 03:25 GMT
Turkmenistan agrees Russian gas deal

President Niyazov President Niyazov was beaten down by Gazprom

Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov has signed an agreement with the head of the Russian company Gazprom to resume supplying Russia with gas.

Under the agreement, Turkmenistan will supply 20 billion cubic metres of gas next year.

After hours of negotiations between President Niyazov and Gazprom president Rem Vyakhirev in the Turkmen capital Ashgabat, the parties agreed on a price of $36 per 1,000 cubic metres, 40% of which will be paid in cash and the remainder in food and consumer goods.

The deal was less favourable than Turkmenistan had hoped.

It had wanted $42 per 1,000 cubic metres, with 50% payment in cash.

"It was a painful process making the agreement, but it resumes Turkmenistan-Russia cooperation in a most important sphere," President Niyazov said.


The Turkmens cut off supplies to Russia two years ago, saying they were owed hundreds of millions of dollars by former Soviet republics.

However, the decision to stop supplying gas to Russia has caused severe damage to Turkmenistan's economy as it has few other means of exporting one of its most important commodities.

A pipeline to Iran was opened in December 1997, and Turkmenistan hopes to build a pipeline under the Caspian Sea and on through Azerbaijan and Georgia to Turkey, which would give it access to markets bypassing Russia.

Turkmenistan has invited Gazprom to take part in projects to explore and develop gas reserves in the Amu-Darya basin in eastern Turkmenistan.

They also hope to set up a permanent commission to deal with fuel and energy issues.

President Niyazov also asked Mr Vyakhirev to consider taking part in the Transcaspian pipeline project, a route which would be a direct challenge to Turkmenistan's use of Gazprom pipelines for its gas exports.

"We need regular cooperation, not competition," President Niyazov said.

No gas for Ukraine

However, talks on resuming gas supplies from Turkmenistan to Ukraine have been postponed indefinitely.

Turkmenistan has refused to start negotiations until Ukraine pays off in full a $30m debt for gas already supplied.

Ukraine had hoped to receive 5 billion cubic metres of Turkmen gas a quarter in 2000, according to Ihor Didenko of the state energy concern Naftohaz Ukrainy.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
Asia-Pacific Contents

Country profiles

See also:
30 Aug 98 |  South Asia
Gas pipeline could be a pipe dream
29 Dec 97 |  S/W Asia
Gas pipeline open for business
27 Oct 98 |  Asia-Pacific
Turkmenistan celebrates independence

Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites
Links to other Asia-Pacific stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Asia-Pacific stories