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Official website of the President of Russia

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Press Statement on Russian-Turkmen Talks

April 10, 2003, The Kremlin, Moscow

Vladimir Putin: Today we had very positive, substantive and constructive talks with the President of Turkmenistan Saparmurat Niyazov. Our joint conclusion is that the Russian-Turkmen relations are steadily developing and have a good future. We have exchanged opinions on the whole range of issues pertaining to Russian-Turkmen ties and discussed in substance the implementation of the agreements reached during the visit of the Turkmen President to the Russian Federation last year.

This meeting has a particular significance. The Treaty on Friendship and Cooperation between our countries has come into force. We firmly believe that it will provide a solid legal basis for Russian-Turkmen relations. We paid serious attention to trade and economic links. Some positive developments have already taken place in this sphere. We have signed an agreement on cooperation between Russia and Turkmenistan in the gas sector until 2028. This programme, coupled with the contract for the supply of Turkmen gas to Russia concluded between Gazprom and Turkmenneftegaz, will strengthen our interaction in other important sectors and areas.

I would like to note that under the agreement half of the price of gas will be paid for by supplies of Russian goods to Turkmenistan. In this way we will load our production capacity, create more jobs in the Russian Federation and supply equipment to Turkmenistan creating a good basis for the development of trade and economic links in many areas.

We believe that the start of the work of the intergovernmental commission on economic cooperation will provide a good basis for the development of the great potential of Russian-Turkmen interaction. We are sure it will help us to solve the issues that have up until now hindered the development of our ties.

The security cooperation agreement signed today will make the efforts of our countries in counteracting the modern challenges and threats more systemic and effective. We are sure it will have a positive impact on the further development of the relations between Russia and Turkmenistan.

We have come to the conclusion that the agreement on dual citizenship has fulfilled its role and we have agreed to annul it. The majority of the people who wanted to move to the Russian Federation have done so, and a new law on migration and citizenship has come into force in Russia. We have agreed to build our relations with Turkmenistan on the basis of that law.

That is all I wanted to say at the beginning of our joint work. The President of Turkmenistan and I will have more opportunities to discuss the whole range of interaction in an informal atmosphere later today.

April 10, 2003, The Kremlin, Moscow