WASHINGTON, February 1 (Itar-Tass) – Russia and the United States consider the implementation of energy projects in Central Asia a pledge of stability in that region, Russian Deputy Energy Minister Yuri Sentyurin said in an interview with Itar-Tass on Thursday.
He led the Russian delegation to the meeting of the energy security subgroup of the working group on energy of the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission that took place in Washington.
The meeting, in particular, focused on the construction of the Tapi gas pipeline to carry Turkmen natural gas across Afghanistan to Pakistan and India and the CASA-1000 power line to carry electric power from Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to Afghanistan and Pakistan.
“We agreed that these projects are important as factors of stability and peace in that region that is now moving along the path of reconciliation. Their implementation will revive the economic situation in those countries,” Sentyurin said.
“The implementation of these projects is expedient and is welcomed both by Moscow and Washington,” he said.
Along with this the deputy minister noted that Russia and the U.S. had not yet agreed on concrete forms of participation in these projects.
“This requires a separate discussion and consultations with interested parties,” Sentyurin said. “At the same time we agreed that Russia’s interest in the implementation of these projects will be taken into account.”
The Tapi pipeline that should be launched in 2018 will run over 1,600 kilometers (144 kilometers in Turkmenistan, 735 kilometers in Afghanistan, 800 kilometers in Pakistan). The pipeline will be built from Turkmenistan’s southeast to Afghanistan, along the highway running from Herat to Kandahar to Pakistan, and then via Quetta and Multan to India’s northwestern state of Punjab.
The CASA-1000 project envisages electric power supplies through high-voltage transmission lines exceeding 1,000 kilometers.