Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov intends to sign an agreement on cooperation in gas industry and security during his visit to Moscow scheduled for April 10-11, 2003.
The Turkmen Embassy said on Tuesday that an intergovernmental agreement on strategic partnership in gas industry for 25 years envisaged both sale of Turkmen gas to Russia and joint development of new Turkmen gas fields including ones on the Caspian shelf as well as cooperation in hi-tech for gas extraction.
The Turkmen Embassy stressed that after signing the agreement Gazprom would be able to buy any amount of gas.
Russian-Turkmen cooperation in gas industry envisages joint entry to new markets as well as joint construction and renovation of pipelines.
The Turkmen Embassy said that during Saparmurat Niyazov's visit to Moscow an exchange of instruments of ratification of the treaty of friendship and cooperation between Russia and Turkmenistan will take place.
According to RIA Novosti, Turkmenistan exported about 40 bln cubic meters of gas in 2002, 34 bln cubic meters were exported to Ukraine.
Proved gas reserves in Turkmenistan make up about 2.86 trln cubic meters, about 60 bln cubic meters are extracted annually. Turkmenistan consumes 11 bln cubic meters of gas and exports the rest.
Gas is being extracted at 46 out of 127 gas fields in Turkmenistan.
The remarks from the Pope came as "a very strong step towards degradation," "given the rather massive nature of homosexuality" among the Catholic clergy.