Russia supports the peace-loving policy of Turkmenistan, which declared its neutrality 25 years ago, and considers the country’s experience in overcoming the existing challenges to be in demand, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on the eve of Turkmenistan’s Neutrality Day, which is celebrated on December 12.
“Turkmenistan is on the threshold of a significant event in its history – the 25th anniversary of the Declaration of Neutrality. From the very beginning of this path, Russia has supported friendly Turkmenistan in its desire to pursue a peaceful foreign policy aimed at developing constructive cooperation,” wrote Mr. Lavrov in an article for the journal “Foreign Policy and Diplomacy of Turkmenistan”.
According to the Russian Foreign Minister, the world faces unprecedented challenges every day, which can only be met by joint efforts.
“In these circumstances, the experience of neutral Turkmenistan in establishing a peaceful dialogue and building trust between representatives of different peoples, religions and cultures is becoming more and more popular,” emphasized the politician.
Mr. Lavrov cited the example of the UN proclamation of the next year as the International Year of Peace and Trust, initiated by Ashgabat.
The Russian Minister also said that the approaches of Moscow and Ashgabat to key international and regional issues are similar, which is the key to productive cooperation on various platforms. Mr. Lavrov stated the fruitful cooperation between Moscow and Ashgabat within the CIS and noted that Turkmenistan makes a significant contribution to effective five-party cooperation in the Caspian Sea.
Sergey Lavrov recalled that the sixth meeting of the leaders of the Caspian littoral countries will be held in Ashgabat next year, and Russia took over the baton of the Caspian Economic Forum, another mechanism of multilateral cooperation that started in Ashgabat in 2019.
The Russian Minister also declared about the successful development of Russian-Turkmen strategic partnership relations.
“To ensure effective bilateral cooperation, it was formed a stable legislative “framework” consisting of more than 100 interstate, intergovernmental and interdepartmental agreements. Regular political dialogue at the highest and sophisticated levels promotes the consolidation of Russian-Turkmen relations,” said Mr. Lavrov.
According to the politician, starting from 2019, the countries managed to reverse the negative trend in bilateral trade and achieve its growth – by almost 70%. At the same time, the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic could not prevent the positive dynamics of trade.
“This year, we are observing a twofold increase to $736 million. At the same time, it is important that the indicators of both Russian exports to Turkmenistan and imports of Turkmen goods and services to Russia are increasing,” said the Russian Foreign Minister.
Mr. Lavrov also mentioned a new level of development of relations in the energy sector. Last spring, Gazprom resumed purchases of Turkmen natural gas, and Russian companies are participating in the construction of the TAPI (Turkmenistan – Afghanistan – Pakistan – India) gas pipeline.
The Russian Foreign Minister assured that Moscow will continue to do everything together with its Turkmen friends to bring the partnership to new frontiers for the benefit of the citizens of the two countries in the name of peace and sustainable development in the Central Asian region.