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Wall of misunderstanding rising between Moscow and Ashkhabad

Vladimir Putin and Gurbanguli Berdimuhamedov. Photo: tvc.ru

Presidents of Russia and Turkmenistan, Vladimir Putin and Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, had a phone conversation during which they discussed the situation in Central Asia, the Kremlin press office said. “The discussion focused on ensuring stability and security in Central Asia, as well as some pressing matters pertaining to bilateral relations,” the source reported.

The press office of the Turkmen president says the two leaders focused on the implementation of the agreements achieved earlier to boost partnership on the basis of the principles of equal rights, trust and mutual respect.

The phone conversation was initiated by Russia, the source reported. EADaily analysts say the idyllic tone of the official statement does not reflect the real state of affairs of the Russian-Turkmen relations that have greatly deteriorated due to some reasons.

The first reason is Gazprom’s disagreements with Ashkhabad that blamed the Russian company of insolvency and violation of the contract terms. Gazprom did not accept the accusations and appealed to the Stockholm Arbitration Court. The second reason is Turkmenistan’s plans to export gas, which, as experts say, may affect similar interests of Russia. Delivery of natural gas to China is in question. The third reason is that Moscow may be in a pique, as Ashgabat appealed to Washington for assistance in the protection of its state border with Afghanistan. Perhaps the misunderstanding has reached a dangerous level and there was extreme need to ease the tension. Therefore, the presidents held a phone talk, the experts say.

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