Gazprom Controls Turkmenistan's Gas, Threatens Ukrainian Plans for Alternative Gas Supplies

February 20, 2013

UPI reports that natural gas from Turkmenistan can't be delivered to Ukraine because of contractual obligations to Russian energy company Gazprom, authorities said.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych met in Ashgabat last week with Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov to discuss gas deliveries from the energy-rich Caspian country.

Disputes over natural gas contracts between Ukraine and Gazprom last decade prompted Kiev to try to diversify its gas options. Turkmenistan hasn't shipped natural gas to Ukraine since 2006.

Valentyn Zemlianski, identified by the Interfax news agency as an independent market analyst, said Russia has control over most of Turkmenistan's natural gas.

"All the gas that Turkmenistan can supply to Ukraine is already contracted to Russia," he said during a briefing hosted by the news agency. "Gazprom has not been fulfilling these contracts in full recently, but they exist."

Ashgabat is working with Asian economies to facilitate natural gas deliveries by way of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipeline, which has the support of the Asia Development Bank.

Kiev said it believes there may be enough natural gas in shale formations to eventually end imports altogether.

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