The Turkmen government is furious again this week at Russian media attacks questioning Ashgabat's ability to extract and deliver its considerable gas reserves and ship them through pipelines yet to be constructed to Europe. The tensions with the Kremlin have been brewing for awhile, but this week's denunciations from the Turkmen Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other agencies lets us know the situation is becoming a crisis for Ashgabat. While expressing "bewilderment" at Russia's "counterproductive" claims and delivering resounding rebuttals, the Turkmen leadership still doesn't quite make it clear what its commitments will in fact be to the long-stalled Nabucco pipeline to skirt Russian energy corridors, or to the more immediately-relevant Trans Caspian pipeline to deliver Turkmen gas to Azerbaijan.
The hold-ups on these projects aren't new -- Turkmenistan still hasn't demarcated disputed Caspian Sea borders with Azerbaijan and is only at the discussion level with the EU about a tri-partite agreement to build the Trans Caspian pipeline and ship its gas.
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