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Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan agree on Caspian pipe

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Russia, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan agreed to build a gas pipeline along the Caspian coast and will sign the deal by September 1, a joint declaration of the three presidents said Friday.
TURKMENBASHI, May 12 (RIA Novosti) - Russia, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan agreed to build a gas pipeline along the Caspian coast and will sign the deal by September 1, a joint declaration of the three presidents said Friday.

Following the summit meeting in Turkmenistan, Vladimir Putin, Nursultan Nazarbayev and Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov instructed their governments to order the construction of the pipeline starting from the second half of 2008.

The pipeline, which will run from Turkmenistan along the Caspian coast of Kazakhstan and on to Russia, is a rival project to U.S. and European proposals to build a pipeline under the Caspian Sea, which would carry Turkmen gas to southern Europe bypassing Russia, the sole re-exporter of the Turkmen gas.

Putin's Central Asian tour, which includes Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, coincided with an energy summit in Poland May 11-13 aimed at reducing energy dependence on Russia. Nazarbayev, its key participant, pulled out from the forum also being attended by Azerbaijan, Georgia, Ukraine and Lithuania.

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