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Monday, April 23, 2007

Turkmen president invites AFK Sistema to Caspian offshore areas

turkmenistanrussiaASHGABAT, April 20 (RIA Novosti) - Turkmen leader Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov has met with the management of Russia's leading consumer services firm AFK Sistema, Turkmen television said Friday. At a Thursday meeting with Vladimir Yevtushenkov and Alexander Goncharuk, co-owners of AFK Sistema, and Leonid Melamed, president of the corporation's Mobile TeleSystems [RTS: MTSS], Berdymukhammedov invited AFK Sistema to develop oil and gas deposits at offshore sites on the Caspian Sea. "We have reached agreement on a range of issues," Yevtushenko said. "As soon as we return to Moscow we will discuss the visit's results and develop a program for closer cooperation." Following the meeting, Yevtushenkov said his corporation had experience in oil production and refining, and controlled 21% of ANK Bashneft, 22% of Ufimsky NPZ, 26% of Novoil, 18% of Ufaneftekhim, 22% of Ufaorgsintez and 17% of Bashnefteproduct. He said AFK Sistema was ready to cooperate with Turkmenistan, which has a population of about 6.6 million, in the telecom and IT spheres. The businessman said his company could also help the republic develop consumer electronics, engineering constructions, trading centers, hotels, clinics, schools and housing. Berdymukhammedov became president February 11 in the first multiple-candidate elections in Turkmen history, which followed the death of Saparmurat Niyazov December 21, 2006, carrying nearly 90% of the vote. He will make his first visit to Russia April 23-24.

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