Turkmenistan has markedly increased its European energy strategy and begun discussion on a long-term partnership with Europe, a Turkmen Foreign Ministry statement said on Tuesday.
"Mutual European and Turkmen interest in the energy sector today looks natural and justified both economically and commercially," the statement said.
The ministry said the European energy market is one of the largest, and European partners offer mutually beneficial cooperation conditions and reasonable prices.
Supplying gas to Europe has become increasingly relevant for Turkmenistan. Construction on the East-West pipeline that will link the North-East Turkmen gas fields with the Caspian Sea began on May. The planned Nabucco gas pipeline will later connect the Caspian to Europe via Turkey.
The 3,300-kilometer Nabucco pipeline, which is expected to be operational by 2015, will transfer natural gas through Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, and Austria, bypassing Russia. The pipeline is to pump 20-30 billion cubic meters of gas annually.
However, experts believe tensions between Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan over a range of oil fields in the disputed Caspian Sea zone may restrict cooperation between Turkmenistan and Europe for a long time.
ASHGABAD, June 8 (RIA Novosti)