Turkmenistan confirmed yesterday that President Saparmurad Niazov has agreed in principle with Georgian president Eduard Shevardnadze at their meeting in Tbilisi to cooperate in the construction of a pipeline to carry Turkmenistan’s gas via Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey to European markets. Two variants are under consideration: either across the Caspian Sea directly to Azerbaijan, or around the Caspian to Azerbaijan via Russian territory. The pipeline is one of two being projected to connect Turkmenistan to international markets. The other is planned by a consortium of the U.S. company UNOCAL and Saudi Arabia’s Delta company for a route via Afghanistan and Pakistan. (Petroleum Information Agency, Delovaya Rossiia, March 21). A third option via Iran is said to be no longer under consideration owing to U.S. objections. The combined effect of the Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey and Afghanistan-Pakistan routes would be to minimize Turkmenistan’s crippling dependence on Russian export pipelines.
Kyrgyzstan to Combine Hydropower System With Russia’s.