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Medvedev to visit Turkmenistan

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, July 3
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is due to arrive in Turkmenistan today on his second trip to Central Asia since taking office this year, underlining the importance Russia attaches to the region’s energy resources.

Earlier this week Gazprom chief executive Alexei Miller held talks with Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhammedov, laying the groundwork for Medvedev’s visit.

Europe is also vying for Central Asian energy to fill the EU- and US-backed Nabucco pipeline.

Meanwhile construction has started on a pipeline to take Turkmen gas to China through Uzbekistan, with first deliveries scheduled for 2009.

Russian analyst Ivan Danilin says China will provide serious competition to Russia in the region.

“Building the Turkmenistan–China gas pipeline may endanger Gazprom’s influence over Central Asia,” the news agency Regnum quoted him as saying.