Turkmenistan views Russia as a strategic partner, President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov said at the start of a meeting with visiting Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
"Great Russia is a strategic and reliable partner," Berdymukhamedov said, adding that his country attached considerable significance to political, economic and educational cooperation with Russia.
Lavrov, who arrived in the Turkmen capital of Ashgabat on Monday for a two-day working visit, said that his visit to the Central Asian country could give a new impetus to bilateral cooperation.
As well as the meeting with Berdymukhamedov, Lavrov was to hold talks with Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov. The talks are aimed at expanding mutually beneficial economic ties, raising trade and making cooperation between Russian and Turkmen regions more active.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev visited Turkmenistan in December 2009. On the sidelines of his visit, the countries' gas monopolies Gazprom and Turkmengaz signed a deal, ending a months-long gas dispute between the two ex-Soviet states.
Medvedev also said then that Russia and Turkmenistan will jointly build new gas pipelines "across Turkmenistan further on to Europe."
This year Turkmenistan inaugurated new pipelines to China and Iran, and it has been courted as a potential supplier to Nabucco, the European gas pipeline project that is a rival to Russia's South Stream for future gas deliveries to the EU.
ASHGABAT, March 16 (RIA Novosti)
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