Saturday, December 23, 2006

Death Of Turkmen Leader Opens Era Of Uncertainty For Ukraine - Experts

KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukrainian experts believe that Death of Turkmen president Saparmurat Niyazov will have an effect on Ukraine which is hard to predict.


Viktor Yushchenko (L) with Saparmurat Niyazov (R) in 2005

“[Niyazov's death] will certainly have consequences for Ukraine, but the nature of these consequences is hard to predict,” said a source at Ukrsotsbank. “It’s no secret that large share of gas supplied to Ukraine is of Turkmen origin and the price of that gas has always been a voluntary decision of Turkmen leader.”

“If the transition of powers goes smoothly we expect more formalized relationships between Ukraine, Russian and Turkmenistan, which in longer term will have a positive effect on Ukraine,” Ukrsotsbank source said.

Meanwhile Ukrainian premier Viktor Yanukovych expressed hopes today that with Niyazov’s death relationships between Ukraine and Turkmenistan will remain stable.

"It is obvious, this issue [of Turkmen gas supplies] worries us much, but we hope that the worst is already in the past, the person, great friend of Ukraine Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov, who had made much for our country, is gone," Yanukovych said.

He said that the issue of Turkmen gas supplies worried not only Ukraine but also other countries receiving Turkmen gas.

The premier said that on Sunday, December 24, Ukrainian delegation headed by the president will be present at Niyazov funerals.

Turkmen president Saparmurat Niyazov died on December 21.

Source: Rynok Biz

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