Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 92

At a ministerial-level meeting which opened September 9 in Ashgabat, delegations of Ukraine, Turkmenistan, and Iran began discussions on creating a trilateral clearing system which would cover Turkmen gas supplies to Ukraine, Ukrainian industrial exports to Iran, and supplies of Iranian goods to Turkmenkistan. The proposed triangular system is designed in part to return Turkmen gas supplies to Ukraine to their previous levels. The volume of Turkmen gas to Ukraine fell sharply because of Ukraine’s growing arrears, and its inability to offset them with goods of interest to Turkmenistan. Iran, for its part, hopes to gain a market in Turkmenistan for its exports, which would be paid for from the proceeds of Turkmenistan’s gas deliveries to Ukraine. Another aspect of the clearing system is envisaged in the April 1995 trilateral memorandum providing for Ukrainian supplies of industrial machinery, engineering services, and fertilizers to Iran, which would in turn pay Turkmenistan for its gas deliveries to Ukraine. But the chief potential development from the talks may be a project to build a pipeline to export Turkmen gas to Europe across Ukraine, bypassing Russia. Ukrainian foreign minister Hennady Udovenko

said on arrival in Ashgabat that Kiev has decided to proceed with this project. (17)

1. Russian television, September 9-10; Itar-Tass, Russia’s Radio, September 10.

2. Russian and Western wire services, September 9-10; Russian television, September 10.

3. Itar-Tass, Interfax, Russia’s Radio, Russian TV, "Moscow’s Echo" radio, September 9-10.

4. Interfax, September 8; Russia’s Radio, September 9-10; Itar-Tass, September 10.

5. Russia’s Radio, September 8-9.

6. Interfax, Russia’s Radio, September 9.

7. Itar-Tass, Russia’s Radio, September 10.

8. Russian public television, September 9; Interfax, Russia’s Radio, September 9-10.

9. Russia’s Radio, Radio Mayak, September 9.

10. Interfax, September 10.

11. Noyan-Tapan, September 8.

12. Financial Information Agency, September 10.

13. Interfax, September 8.

14. Interfax, September 8.

15. Petroleum Information Agency, September 8.

16. Interfax, September 9.

17. Interfax-Ukraine, September 9.

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