In his Sept. 14 interview with Radio Svoboda, Pres Yushchenko’s aide for international energy security Bohdan Sokolovsky said Ukraine stands a good chance to resume direct supplies of Turkmeni gas. The issue is to be discussed by Pres Yushchenko and his Turkmeni counterpart in the course of his visit to Turkmenistan starting on Sept. 14.
Asked how real the prospect of direct supplies is, Sokolovsky said, “What depends on the will of two parties and does not harm the third one is always real. We have a chance to map out such a format of cooperation which would interest even third parties.”
Asked how the resumption of Turkmeni gas supplies to Russia suspended after an explosion at the pipeline in April would affect Yushchenko talks with Gurbanguly Berdimukhamedov, Sokolovsky commented: “We would like all our partners, including Russia, to have predictable relationships with Turkmenistan.”
When told that Ukraine-Turkmenistan energy cooperation should be resolved on a three-party basis, not on a two-party one, Sokolovsky noted: “I believe, even a three-party basis is not sufficient. But before we proceed to multi-party talks, we have to reach tentative agreements on a two-party basis.”
“I can see excellent prospects for deepening and strengthening gas cooperation with Turkmenistan, with third parties only standing to gain,” he went on.
Asked about the likely avenues of cooperation with Turkmenistan, Sokolovsky described this country as dynamically developing its oil, gas and even coal sectors. As Naftohaz is successfully implementing energy projects in Egypt, this Ukrainian company can contribute to similar projects in Turkmenistan, he added.
“One of the areas of cooperation can be land surveying for oil and gas deposits. Ukraine pipe producers are quite competitive and can supply their goods to Turkmenistan, too,” he said.