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Turkmenistan Lashes Out At Russia Over Gas Pipeline

Turkmenistan's Foreign Ministry has released a statement criticizing Russia for its position on Turkmenistan's cooperation with the European Union.

The statement was published on October 19 on the pro-Turkmen government website

It criticized comments from Russian officials and in Russian media about Turkmenistan's plans to sell natural gas to Europe, which includes the construction of a Trans-Caspian pipeline.

The European Union in early September tasked the European Commission with speeding up negotiations between Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan on the construction of that pipeline.

Since then Russian officials have repeatedly said Moscow would oppose the planned pipeline on the grounds that the legal status of the Caspian Sea has not been agreed upon by the five Caspian littoral countries.

The EU has argued that the pipeline would only pass through Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan's sector of the Caspian so no common consent from the other littoral states is needed.

compiled from agency reports