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Cablegate: Turkmenistan: Naryshkin Visit Probably Focused On

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RUEHLZ RUEHPW RUEHROV RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHAH #1073 2771305
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 041305Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY ASHGABAT
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9491
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA 2839
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RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL 1112
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RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS ASHGABAT 001073

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

STATE FOR SCA/CEN
PASS TO USTDA DAN STEIN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL ECON EPET RS TX
SUBJECT: TURKMENISTAN: NARYSHKIN VISIT PROBABLY FOCUSED ON
PIPELINES AND GAS PRICE

1. (U) Sensitive but unclassified. Not for public Internet.

2. (U) According to press reports, during an October 3 meeting in
Ashgabat, Sergei Naryshkin, Russian Deputy Prime Minister and
Co-Chairman of the Turkmenistan-Russia Intergovernmental Economic
Cooperation Commission, told Turkmenistan's President Berdimuhamedov
that experts from Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Russia
are completing drafts of the relevant intergovernmental agreements
on the Caspian littoral and Central Asia-Center gas pipelines.
Naryshkin also reportedly pointed out Russia's interest in giving
the bilateral relations a "sustainable dynamism." The next meeting
of experts of the four countries will be held in Ashgabat in several
days. (NOTE: The four countries agreed in May that documents on
conducting appropriate feasibility studies would be completed by
September 1. END NOTE.)

3. (SBU) COMMENT: Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of
Ministers/Foreign Minister Rashit Meredov has gone on record telling
the Charge that the four countries in May agreed only to a framework
agreement which carried no immediate obligations. As recently as
September 26, President Berdimuhamedov was quoted as saying that "I
would not want to hide the fact that negotiations on gas prices in
the new project as well as in our existing contracts are tense."
Russian mass media, which has made no secret of Russian concern over
Turkmenistan's new commitment to provide gas to China, has been
reporting Turkmenistan may raise the price for its natural gas to
Russia from $100 to $150 per thousand cubic meters. Naryshkin's
visit may have been an attempt to try to herd Turkmenistan back into
the Kremlin fold. END COMMENT.

HOAGLAND

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