TURKMENBASHI, September 13 (RIA Novosti) - Trade between Russia and Turkmenistan reached $5 billion in the first seven months of 2009, the presidents of both countries said during their meeting on Sunday.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who had arrived in Turkmenistan earlier in the day on a working visit, discussed the issues of bilateral cooperation in the fuel and energy sector with his Turkmen counterpart Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov.
"Bilateral trade amounted to $7 billion in the whole of 2008, despite the period of crisis, whereas in the first seven months of this year the volume of our trade hit $5 billion," Berdymukhammedov said, adding that both countries were set to develop further their cooperation in various spheres, including agriculture, transport, the fuel and energy sector.
In turn, Medvedev said that bilateral trade and economic relations were developing intensively between the two countries, especially against a backdrop of declining trade volumes with some other countries.
During the meeting between the two presidents, Russia's independent gas producer Itera and the Turkmen State Agency for Hydrocarbon Management and Use signed a production-sharing agreement on developing block 21 in the Caspian Sea.
Under the agreement, Itera will start operations at the offshore oil and gas field in early 2010. Production at the field could amount to about 10 billion cubic meters of natural gas and about 20 million metric tons (147 million barrels) of oil annually, with the project estimated at about $1 billion.