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Turkmenistan Tips Its Hand On Future Energy Exports

A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

Turkmenistan, so key to the energy plans of so many, had long shown its readiness to break Russia's stranglehold on its gas and oil exports. But Ashgabat has offered few hints as to who it prefers as an alternative.

That changed last week, when President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov gathered energy officials together on August 12 and outlined, in much more detail than usual, the country's export-diversification policy.

It's a strategy that is pioneering in its calls for increased cooperation with Western companies, unambiguous in its preference for deals with China, and surprising for its failure to even mention traditional energy partner Russia and the EU's Nabucco gas-pipeline project.

The general idea, according to Turkish energy analyst Mehmet Seyfetdin, is for Turkmenistan to increase its pool of energy partners without angering Moscow. "Turkmenistan wants to show a counter-balance policy in its foreign relations, and we see that Turkmenistan wants to prevent Russia's pressure on it," Seyfetdin says.

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A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

Turkmenistan Tips Its Hand On Future Energy Exports

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