During his visit to Ashgabat October 21-22, Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev discussed the possibility of Gazprom, Russia's state-owned gas monopoly, becoming involved in the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline, Russian and international wire services reported.
Kommersant, the Russian business daily, has more details. President Medvedev brought with him Vice Premier Igor Sechin, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and presidential aide Sergei Prikhodko. The Kremlin is so eager to get involved in TAPI that as Sechin told Kommersant, Gazprom is prepared to take part in any capacity -- "as a contractor, as a designing company, and as a full-fledged participant of the consortium." Sechin says Gazprom is willing to invest its own money in the risky project, which would involve laying pipe across Taliban-held territory in Afghanistan and Pakistan. "Not a single investor has displayed such boldness," comments Kommersant.
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