At a Central Asian summit, the presidents of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan expressed support for bringing Central Asian oil and gas to world markets via the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey (and, in the case of Turkmenistan, via Iran). Two days later Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin was sharply critical, saying — quite accurately — that "those forces that advocate the southern pipeline routes … seek to distance themselves from Russia." Using Soviet-era calculations, he argued that pipelines from Central Asia are more cost-effective if routed through Russia. Chernomyrdin is scheduled to make a swing through Central Asia later this week.