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Turkmenistan: Pipeline Financing Likely; Gas Exports Halted

Kyiv, 10 May 1998 (RFE/RL) -- The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development said in a report today that financing for a proposed pipeline from Turkmenistan to Turkey is increasingly likely because of diminished resistance from Washington to a trans-Iranian route.

Meanwhile, Turkmenistan's central bank chief Hudayberdy Artykovich Orazov told the EBRD's meeting in Kyiv today that apart from a pipeline connecting his country's southwestern Korpedzhe gas field to Kurt Koy in northern Iran, Turkmen gas exports are "not going anywhere."

Orazov said Russia's Gazprom allows the transit of Turkmen gas only to Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia. He said the "insolvency" of those markets has led his country to virtually halt deliveries. Gazprom controls Turkmenistan's only western export route for natural gas.

Orazov said Ashgabat has an agreement to export 20,000 million cubic meters of gas to Ukraine next year. But he said those deliveries won't be made unless there is a resolution of the issue of transit fees paid by Ukraine to Russia.