We don’t usually see Igor Sechin traveling with Dmitry Medvedev, and perhaps now we know why. During the visit to Turkmenistan earlier this week, Sechin either made a series of calculated threats or simple ill-considered gaffes, stating that Europe had no need for any Turkmen gas through Nabucco, because Gazprom would provide it all, and further stating that Gazprom would perhaps participate in the TAPI pipeline through Afghanistan.
In response, the Turkmen Foreign Ministry released an angry statement as a rebuttal to Sechin, and a reminder that there are still some other options available to them. From Bloomberg:
“Turkmenistan views the published remarks as an attempt to interfere in the normal course of international energy relations, and cast doubt on our responsibilities to our partners,” the Turkmen ministry said in a statement on its website today. (…)
“Deliveries to Europe have become more realistic ever since Russia lowered its purchases of Turkmen gas,” the ministry said in the statement. “Turkmenistan will continue to develop European aims in its energy policy.” (…)
The ministry said that it had no agreement with Gazprom allowing it to enter a pipeline project aimed to deliver Turkmen gas to India via Afghanistan and Pakistan. It also said that it continues to plan work to build a northern running pipeline along the Caspian Sea under an agreement with Kazakhstan and Russia.
In other words, this is exactly the kind of stuff that Moscow doesn’t want to hear about.