Kiev courts Turkmenistan for natural gas

Feb. 14, 2013 at 6:16 AM

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- Ukraine is keen to deepen its cooperation with Turkmenistan as it relates to natural gas, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych said.

Yanukovych met in Ashgabat with Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov to discuss gas deliveries from the energy-rich Caspian country.

"I've confirmed Ukraine's interest in the resumption of the supply of natural gas from Turkmenistan and its willingness to deepen cooperation in this field," Yanukovych was quoted by Interfax as saying. "Our country has every opportunity to unite efforts to study alternative routes of gas supplies for its own needs as well as for export to Europe."

Disputes over natural gas contracts between Ukraine and Russian energy company Gazprom last decade prompted Kiev to try to diversify its gas options. Turkmenistan hasn't shipped natural gas to Ukraine since 2006.

The bulk of Russian natural gas bound for European consumers runs through Ukrainian pipelines.

Turkmenistan has searched for ways to get its natural gas to Asian markets by way of a multilateral pipeline to India. The Caspian border state holds the fourth-largest deposits of natural gas in the world.

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