DUSHANBE, Tajikistan, Sept. 2 (UPI) -- Russia has expressed an interest in participating in the long delayed Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India natural gas pipeline.
Russian, Afghan, Pakistani and Tajik representatives issued a statement after signing an agreement in the Tajikistan capital of Dushanbe on the development of trade and economic relations noting, "The parties welcome Russia's interest in participating in implementation of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project," RIA Novosti reported Friday.
The TAPI pipeline was under development even before the Taliban captured Kabul in September 1996, as in 1995 Turkmenistan and Pakistan initialed a memorandum of understanding. The 1,050-mile pipeline with a flow capacity of 30 billion cubic meters per year and a projected cost of more than of $4 billion has been stalled by conflict in Afghanistan. As currently envisaged, TAPI would run from Turkmenistan's Dauletabad gas field across Afghanistan and Pakistan and terminate at the northwestern Indian town of Fazilka.
TAPI is supported by the Asian Development Bank.