Georgia & Turkmenistan: Transit Partners 

The past year can be considered as the beginning of a new stage in bilateral relations between Georgia and Turkmenistan. Contacts at all levels have been considerably intensified.

On September 27-28, 2014, after a 5-year break, 2nd meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation was held in Tbilisi. As result the Protocol was signed, which reflects the main directions of trade and economic cooperation and perspectives of its development.

The Presidents of Georgia and Turkmenistan have already exchanged visits in a relatively short period of time (only 7 months): on December 14-15, 2014 the first official visit of the President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili, in Turkmenistan was held by the invitation of the President of Turkmenistan. On July 2-3, 2015, President of Turkmenistan, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov paid a State visit to Georgia by the invitation of the President of Georgia (I would like to highlight that it was his first visit to Georgia).

During the State visit in Georgia, President of Turkmenistan was also hosted by Prime-minister of Georgia, Mr. Irakli Garibashvili and Chairman of Parliament of Georgia Mr. Davit Usupashvili.

In the course of these visits the status and prospects of bilateral cooperation were thoroughly discussed, the Statements of the heads of states, a number of intergovernmental and interdepartmental documents in trade, economy, transport and communication, cultural and humanitarian areas were signed.

By all accounts, the priority area of collaboration between our countries can be and should become a joint implementation of large regional and inter-regional transport and energy projects. Georgia gives high priority to cooperation in the field of transit of cargo and goods, including energy resources, through its territory and creates the most favorable conditions for this.

We support a balanced policy of Turkmenistan aimed at diversifying the supply routes to the world market of its natural gas, enormous reserves of which in the country have leading positions in the world. Owing to this approach, Turkmenistan gradually becomes a key player in ensuring energy security of the entire Eurasian continent.

For its part, Georgia has also a very important transit potential – the pipelines of international importance pass through its territory, including Baku-Supsa, Baku-Tbilisi-Jeyhan oil pipelines and Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline. Every year a significant amount of Turkmen oil is pumped exactly via the Baku-Tbilisi-Jeyhan oil pipeline, i.e. through the territory of Georgia. This is another proof of the fact that Georgia is a reliable partner in the implementation of large transnational projects.

Georgia is watching with interest the development of the negotiations on transportation of Turkmen natural gas to Europe, and we are ready to participate in these consultations as expected transit country.

The Georgian side is interested in increasing cargo traffic through its territory by different means of transportation. We consider very important the fact of absolute coincidence of Georgia’s and Turkmenistan’s views on the need for significant intensification of cargo traffic through the transport corridor Europe – Caucasus – Asia. Therefore, it is logical to think about joining our efforts to tackle this huge task.

((2015 was announced in Turkmenistan as the year of neutrality and peace. We are proud that Georgia was a co-sponsor of the resolutions of the UN General Assembly “On permanent neutrality of  Turkmenitan” in 1995 and 2015. We would like to assure that Georgia will always support the initiatives of Turkmenistan aimed at ensuring peace, stability and economic development in the region.))
((It should be mentioned that on June 28, 2014 the President of Turkmenistan signed the Decree on the opening of the Embassy of Turkmenistan in Georgia (with residence in Tbilisi). Undoubtedly, the opening of diplomatic mission of Turkmenistan in Tbilisi has played an important role in intensifying cooperation in various fields)).

Giorgi Karalashvili
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Georgia to Turkmenistan 
Accredited to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan