President Vladimir Putin: Dear Saparmurat Atayevich [Niyazov], allow me to welcome you to Moscow. I am very pleased to see you again.
I would like to begin by saying that the relations between our countries are developing quite well, in my view. We have seen an increase in bilateral trade and, of course, there is the energy sector, which is the most important area of our cooperation. We are pleased at having signed an agreement on energy supplies with Turkmenistan at the end of last year. I fully support your proposals on expanding our cooperation in the areas of energy production and transportation, and I think we will get the chance to discuss these and other questions during our meeting today. I think we could do a stocktaking of the legal agreements between us and see what we are still missing as yet both in the energy sector and in other areas.
Our cooperation has a long history and we share common interests in the Caspian. I would also like to talk about this today, keeping in mind the need to coordinate a common position in the negotiating process with all the countries bordering the Caspian. We have today a large amount of cooperation and a large package of negotiations.
President of Turkmenistan Saparmurat Niyazov: I sincerely thank you for this invitation at a time when the region is facing difficulties in the energy sector.
We view your efforts to stabilise energy supplies to the region and to Europe with understanding. We also understand your call for Turkmenistan’s participation in resolving these issues together with Russia. We see this as a sign of how highly you value the cooperation between our countries in building on what we have already achieved together. This question is of political importance today and goes beyond purely economic matters.
In this respect we are very grateful to the great country that is Russia and we know that Russia has great energy potential and unlimited prospects for finding intercontinental solutions to energy issues in the interests of peace and stability. Turkmenistan will work conscientiously together with Russia in this area, taking part in major energy projects and working together with Russia in the areas of energy supply and the development of Turkmenistan’s energy resources. We will work together with Russia to bring energy resources both to Asia and to Europe. This is in the interests of peace and energy security.
It was with great pleasure that I accepted this invitation and I would like to thank you, Vladimir Vladimirovich, for showing such interest in our cooperation. We consider it an honour to cooperate with Russia.