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Tuesday, 28 June 2005
Ukraine to pay 100% Cash for Turkmen Gas Deliveries
Topic: Economy & business
Ashgabat, 24 June 2005 (nCa) --- It was decided Friday during a meeting between President Niyazov and the Ukrainian delegation headed by Chairman of NeftegazUkrainy that in future Ukraine would pay 100% cash for the natural gas it buys from Turkmenistan. Barter element has been eliminated.

According to the document signed between the two countries, starting 1 July 2005 Ukraine would pay entirely in cash for the gas volumes it obtains from Turkmenistan.

The new price – actually the old price of December 2004 level, sans barter element – would be US $ 44 per 1000 cubic meters.

It must be recalled that up to December 2004, Turkmenistan was shipping its volumes to Ukraine at US $ 44 per 1000 cubic meters but the supplies were halted because of the concerns that Ukraine was charging unrealistically high prices for the items it supplied under gas-for-goods plan. The arrangements then allowed for 50% payment in cash and 50% in the shape of goods and services.

When Turkmenistan stopped gas supplies to Ukraine on 1 January 2005, the problem was resolved after three rounds of negotiations by agreeing that the supplies would be resumed to Ukraine at US $ 58 per 1000 cubic meters. Barter element remained in place.

However, as it turned out later, Turkmenistan again had the reason to complain that Ukraine was not keeping to its end of the bargain. A circular issued by the foreign office of Turkmenistan asserted that Ukraine had failed to supply items worth about US $ 600 million for the barter portion of gas volumes. Most of the accumulated debt was incurred during the first five months of this year.

There were also bitter complaints that Ukraine was again charging very high prices for the barter items. At one point, President Niyazov called it a “mechanism for swindling”.

During the last one week some top officials of the oil and gas sector of Turkmenistan were fired for being instrumental in obtaining exorbitantly priced items from Ukraine, presumably because of some personal gratification.

The new documents signed this Friday would bring transparency to the process of exporting Turkmen gas to Ukraine.

Turkmenistan has reduced the gas price from US $ 58 to US $ 44 per 1000 cubic meters but the entire payment must now be made in hard cash.

Moreover, under the new understanding between the two countries, Ukraine must clear the outstanding log of barter items by December 2005. It is also stipulated in the documents signed today that prices of items supplied under this scheme must be “similar to average world market prices.”

Turkmenistan would not allow any rise in the prices until the outstanding debt is cleared.

The new agreement comes in force on 1 July 2005 and would remain valid in 2006.

Even though Ukraine had rejected categorically a few days ago any possibility for switching to 100% cash payment, it was clear by this afternoon that Ukraine would prefer long-term partnership with Turkmenistan rather than short sighted squabbles.

In all, four documents were signed during Niyazov-Ivchenko meeting. These include revised payment system, supplementary agreement on delivery of barter goods by 31 December 2005, increase in the volume of investment gas from 4.5 bcm to 5 bcm for 2006 and allocation of investment gas to Ukrainian companies working in Turkmenistan.

Alexi Ivchenko, head of NaftegazUkrainy, signed the documents on behalf of his government.

Posted by countryturkmenistan at 10:45 AM
Friday, 24 June 2005
Turkmenistan Schoolchildren Win a Gold and Two Silver Medals at International Olympiad
Topic: Health, Education, Social
02 June 2005. Senior pupils from Turkmenistan Dovrangeldi Hudayberdiev, Shatlyk Ashiraliev and Rustam Allakov won a gold and two silver medals at the 7th International Mathematic Olympiad held in Almaty (Kazakhstan). More than 100 best young mathematicians from 21 countries took part in the prestigious intellectual contest.

The original mathematic projects presented by the Turkmen pupils and their rich knowledge in computer science and other subjects were direct results of the new educational policy pursued in our country and experience acquired by the representatives of Turkmenistan in the similar international Olympiads. It should be noted that purposeful education of the talented and gifted children is also of great importance. During the years of independence the participation of the Turkmen pupils in the prestigious intellectual contests directed to the development of the scientific and creative potential of the youth has become traditional.

State Information Agency of Turkmenistan (TDH)

Posted by countryturkmenistan at 10:34 AM
Thursday, 23 June 2005
Turkmen carpet weaving
Topic: Turkmen Traditions
Turkmen arts and crafts witnessed uneven development of various specialties. They had high esthetic and technical qualities, especially among herders. This included embroidery of clothing, especially wool leggings - jorab, purses and carpets.

Turkmen carpets are especially famous. They were produced by all tribes in present-day Turkmenistan with the exception of the non-Turkmen nukhurli tribes.

A Turkmen carpet is not only a work of art, but also a necessary thing for every day life. The carpets had their own uses: haly - carpets for decoration of dwellings; namazlyk - small carpets for prayer; and gapykilim, ensi - medium sized carpets used for curtaining of entrance and yurts. Besides that, carpet goods included different bags - torba, which people used to hang on the walls of buildings or yurts for keeping house utensils; other bags - chuval, maprach - for dresses, clothes and other belongings. At the same time these bags were used with a decorative purposes, such as saddle bags - horzuun, and finally, there were decorative ornaments - osmaldyk, halyk - for camel bale, as well as various carpet bands - akyup, golan (polam) 10-15m in length and 20-40m in width used for decorating inside walls of yurts and for fixing outside felt covers.

The carpets of separate large tribes were different in their patterns and manufacturing styles. The most popular ones belonged to tekins (Turkomen) and pendins (salyrs). Though yomut carpets were original and have beautiful patterns and colors, they were not so popular in the world market. All Turkmen carpets are similar in colorings and style, and differ from other national carpets. The major color of Turkmen carpets is red, and the color spectrum goes from dark-cherry (pendin carpets) to scarlet (tekins). Other colors used are black and white, and yomuts used blue color for carpets as well. White gradually becomes ivory, and red colors slightly fade, giving old carpets a specific lightness and coloring harmony.

By the end of the 19th c, the Turkmen used only natural, very strong dyes for coloring of wool. Later they started to use cheaper, weaker aniline dyes, which considerably affected the color range. The patterns had a geometrical shape, and each big tribe had its own distinctive type. Big carpets have a clearly visible division on the central part and borders. In the center one can see octagonal figures and rhombs filled in with patterns. Yomut carpets have patterns like cogged rhomb-shaped rosettes. According to the opinion of carpet expert Moshkova V.G the central pattern, called gel', represented the tribe emblem with the image of a totem in the old days.

The edging consists of ordinary conventionalized geometrical, and sometimes plant motives. The carpets produced at the end of the 19th c and beginning of the 20th c do not contain very many geometrical shapes of animals and plants. Old carpets manufactured hundred years ago were showing everyday life scenes. The yomut strips of carpet were especially interesting in this regard. They showed migration and other scenes. The museum of ethnography of the USSR in St Petersburg keeps an old yomut strip of carpet which reflects a return from a foray - alaman. The modern yomut carpets also contain geometrical plant patterns.

The Turkmen carpets can be divided into fleecy (chitme technique) and non-fleecy (kakma technique). Along with these main types, there are intermediate type, where fleecy patterns are made on a non-fleecy background.

In fact the carpets, carpet bags and decorations for camels are produced in a fleecy way. The Turkmen fleecy carpets are of a high quality; they have thick knots and a short nap. Yomuts are mostly non-fleecy. They include big floor covers, kit-bags - chuval, as well as carpet strips for surrounding wooden frames of yurts and outside cane mats (duzi, bilyup, etc.). However the most beautiful carpet strips, which are now very rare, had patterns on a non-fleecy background. This was the way yomuts produced golan and akyup carpet strips. Strips had very specific drawings: their geometrical pattern goes on white background and changes along the whole length several times. The main picture of this pattern reminds one of a branching tree, strongly conventionalized. These combined strips are very close to Karakalpak ones. Significantly often the Turkmen start using other type of strips for securing yurts: they have colored patterns on a white background. In spite of the variety of carpet forms, the manufacture techniques were not complicated. The carpets were produced on a horizontally installed loom, a very ordinary device.

Two pairs of stakes were hammered into the ground according to the size of the planned carpet. Behind the stakes there were fixed two beams for stretching the main part of the carpet. For thread shifting they used a stick with loops catching one part of the base, and a small board. A stick with loops was installed on forks hammered into the ground, or on handmade loam columns. In order to keep base threads immovable, they fixed them by loam to the stick. Woof thread was taken through by hand without a shuttle. For hammering the woof, people used a massive iron comb with a wooden handle. They cut the nap with scissors made by local craftsmen.

This delicate technique did not allow fast work. It took a month of hard work for a Turkmen woman to weave a 4-5 m carpet. For wide carpets, several women worked, sitting in a row.

During cold times the loom was installed inside a special yurt. In summer it was installed under a shed. Mainly, carpets were produced during the warm period of the year, as it was difficult to work in winters. Threads were made gradually, and mainly of sheep wool cut in spring.

Now carpet weaving is becoming more popular but is done in special artels. Weavers have learned new techniques (vertical weaving) and new patterns. The carpets are made to order.


Felt works are also made, but are not so outstanding as those of the Kazakhs, Kirgiz and Karakalpaks.

Reed mats are used as frames. Layers of wool are spread, soaked and rolled on them. The mat is tied round with a rope and the rolling continues, sometimes with the help of a horse. The felt is removed, turned over and rolled by hand.

The mats are used as bedding and cover for the lower part of the yurt, with the felt on top. They are woven on primitive devices with thick thread. This is different from techniques of the Uzbeks and Tajiks. Their nomadic lifestyle gave preference to felt ornament on carpets and purses - keche.

Ornamented felts - keche - have extremely interesting and peculiar patterns. The main pattern, which frames the central part, is called sary ichyan (yellow scorpion), saylan (election) or gochak (ram horn). The central field is usually occupied by 2-4 large circles, which have different names in various tribes. The central pattern's name is the name of the felt. Yomut-djafarbays and inhabitants of the Caspian Sea coast have two-sided ornamented felts - goshma keche. The local crafts women are considered to be the most skillful in making felts. Felt items by Turkmen-Saryks were especially prized. They are produced in settled areas now as well. Turkmen herders of sheep produced the most felt, both monotone and ornamented.

The manufacturing process is mainly the same like in other regions of Central Asia; felt production is only a women's occupation.

New ornaments are now used. Carpet making became an industry, but it is still done as a handicraft.


Posted by countryturkmenistan at 12:16 PM
Wednesday, 22 June 2005
Ukraine owes Turkmenistan nearly US $ 600 million dollars in goods for natural gas supplies
Topic: Economy & business
21 June 2005. Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov received Monday a delegation of the national joint-stock company Naftogaz-Ukraine headed by board chairman Oleksiy Ivchenko. A telephone conversation between the presidents of Turkmenistan and Ukraine took place during the course of the meeting at the request of President Victor Yushchenko, the Turkmen Foreign Ministry’s press service said in a statement.

At the meeting, the sides noted that Turkmenistan, being a reliable trade-economic partner, ensures strict and timely supplies of natural gas to Ukraine as provided in the relevant agreements and contracts, according to the Foreign Ministry.

At the same time, the Ukrainian side doesn't fulfill its contractual obligations. This, first of all, concerns barter payments for Turkmen gas supplies that exclude fixing of any rates, the statement notes.

In this connection, the statement emphasizes that Ukraine still owes Turkmenistan US $ 61.7 mln in goods for 2004 alone and US $ 500 mln in goods for the first five and a half months of this year as payment for Turkmen natural gas supplies.

During the negotiations, the sides especially stressed the fact that bilateral relations need to be built on a mutually-beneficial, civilized basis. It is with this in mind that Turkmenistan “leaves the door open” and, on condition of fulfillment of its obligations by the Ukrainian side, will continue to provide Ukraine with the requested amount of Turkmen natural gas.

In conclusion of the telephone conversation, Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko assured his counterpart that the Ukrainian side would take all necessary steps to ensure the delivery of goods in Turkmenistan as repayment of a debt totaling nearly US $ 600 mln, the Turkmen Foreign Ministry statement says.


Posted by countryturkmenistan at 2:26 PM
Tuesday, 21 June 2005
Partnership "Under Ground"
Topic: Economy & business
Ukrainian specialists are laying down the unique communication and drainage tunnel

Most of the modern facilities in Ashgabat are either built according to the unique projects or have no match in the region with regard to their scale and applied technologies. This is the main peculiarity the country’s leadership adopted in its approaches to the development of the capital. Everything here is done with consideration of the long-term perspective and according to the highest international standards. It is not by chance that two years ago the program of Ashgabat’s water supply and sewage systems development until 2050 was worked out and adopted under the patronage of the head of state. The program provides for several stages of this large-scale project’s realization.

Indicators of this document were calculated based on the forecast that the Turkmen capital’s population would grow up to 1.100 million people by the end of 2010. By this time, the daily water consumption in the city is expected to rise to 400 liters per capita. The overall discharge of sewage is to reach 600 thousand cubic meters a day, up 25 per cent on the current level.

In the remaining period until the end of 2010, the municipal services will have to lay 350 km of water supply pipes, put into operation a new water supply facility, “Severniy”. Four operational sewage collector systems will be renovated and two more collectors will be built.

By 2006, the capacity of the city water supply networks is expected to rise up to 900 thousand cubic meters a day enabling it to serve the population of 1.700 million people. Thus, the problem of sewage as well as the water supply task are being solved taking into account the 50-year perspective.

One of the principal stages of such large-scale program’s implementation is connected with laying down a communication and drainage tunnel. This project is currently being implemented by the Ukrainian company, “Interbudmontazh”.

This facility is one of the areas of the investment cooperation between Turkmenistan and Ukraine. The problem of the longstanding Ukrainian debt for supplied Turkmen gas played a major role in resorting to such kind of cooperation. Since Ukraine had no cash to pay the debts Ashgabat agreed to the proposal to use investment projects in the territory of Turkmenistan as a solution of this problem. Thus, the Ukrainian specialists got new jobs, and the Turkmen side – a number of objects constructed by the partners for debts repayment.

Later, when Kiev succeeded in liquidating the arrears accumulated in the past, the sides decided to continue such model of cooperation beneficial for both countries. As a result, for instance, the agreement on Turkmen gas supplies in 2005 stipulates that 4.5 billion cub m of gas out of the general volume of 36 billion cub m will be delivered as a payment for investment projects implemented by the Ukrainian companies. These projects include construction of a number of compressor stations, a railway and motorway bridge across the Amudarya river and a communication-drainage tunnel in Ashgabat.

“There are a few such projects in the world,” says the Ashgabat office of Ukrainian “Interbudmontazh” company. “The 22-km tunnel with the diameter varying from 3 to 6 m, equipped with the drainage wells and horizontal self-discharging holes will be also used to lay trunk sewage and water supply systems, power cables and communication lines. The tunnel’s size makes it possible for the service personnel to move along it using special repair battery-driven vehicles”.

On August 31, 2001, the city’s administration and Construction Association “Interbudmontazh” signed a construction contract. The first line of the project shall be commissioned in mid next year.

The tunnel built 12-17 m under the ground with the total value of US $ 204 million will “hide” all communication systems and make it possible to operate them more effectively avoiding cases of trenching through the avenues to conduct repair works which is a natural scene in big cities. The multifunctional facility will accommodate the trunk power cables, water pipes, heating system, sewage and communication lines.

“Interbudmontazh” was awarded another contract to drain the sewage outside of the city. It deals with designing and construction of sewage treatment plants with the capacity of 300,0 thousand cub m a day with the 3.5 km long discharge collector and 10.5 km long end parts of the drainage collectors of the drainage-communication tunnel.

It should be noted that the Ukrainian company attaches great importance not only to the quality of works but also to the timely commissioning of the facility. Much is done to train local specialists who will be entrusted with maintaining this tunnel in the near future. Young men from Turkmenistan have the opportunity to get education in the educational establishments of Ukraine. As for those Turkmen citizens that are currently engaged in building this original “municipal metro”, they are also receiving the invaluable experience.


Turkmenistan Analytic Magazine

Posted by countryturkmenistan at 1:43 PM

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