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2019 †N7-8(172-173)
The strategic interstate Turkmen-Russian dialogue is successfully developing in many areas. Enhancing bilateral relations with the regions and largest industrial and cultural centers of the Russian Federation is one of the priorities of Turkmenistan's foreign policy. This dialogue is perfectly exemplified by Turkmenistan's business contacts with the Republic of Tatarstan, St. Petersburg, Astrakhan region and several other Russian regions.
A large-scale program of trade, economic and humanitarian integration with the regions of the Russian Federation that is actively supported by President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov also covers Oryol region.
The business communities of the Turkmen city of Mary and Russian Oryol region held their first meeting this year. The Turkmen delegation's visit to the administrative center of Oryol region was an integral part of implementation of the long-term cooperation program between the sister cities. The sister relations were officially established between the two cities in October 2017, as part of the official visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin to Turkmenistan.
The high-profile delegation from the administrative center of Mary province had the opportunity to become acquainted with the work of the leading enterprises of the city of Oryol. In the framework of the business contacts exchange at the Oryol Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the sides shared information that might be of mutual interest for the business structures of the sister cities.
As part of the business contacts exchange, representatives of the Oryol region business community emphasized that Russia, being one of the leaders in the field of advanced technologies, stands ready to share its latest scientific and industrial solutions whose introduction has become one of the development priorities of modern Turkmenistan. In this regard, the sides discussed in detail the possibility of implementing new joint projects in the strategic areas of bilateral cooperation. Agriculture, food and processing industry and construction were identified as the main areas of cooperation.
Speaking about the importance of implementing the cooperation program, the participants of the meeting in Oryol noted that this program aims to find the effective forms of business partnership, enhance cooperation and use as much as possible the economic and intellectual potential of the regions of Turkmenistan and the Russian Federation. Commenting on the results of work, the Russian partners noted that their strong confidence in the prospects of expanding the comprehensive relations with Turkmenistan is grounded in the atmosphere of goodwill and mutual understanding that traditionally dominate in bilateral relations.
The Turkmen delegation had meetings with Governor of Oryol region Andrei Klychkov and Mayor of the city of Oryol Vasily Novikov. The sides noted the importance of the first step for establishment of strong interregional relations between the two cities in line with the general trend of development of comprehensive cooperation between Turkmenistan and the Russian Federation.
During the talks, the Russian side emphasized the indisputability of the fact that Turkmenistan is a country with the one of the world highest growth rates that enjoys a well-deserved international reputation of a reliable partner. President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin has repeatedly noted the strategic nature of the Russian-Turkmen partnership and fruitfulness of cooperation between the Russian regions and Turkmenistan.
Economy is by no means the only area promising the benefits of interregional cooperation. About two thousand students from Turkmenistan currently study at Oryol universities. The Oryol region system of tertiary education for training of highly qualified specialists is one of the most developed and extensive in Russia. The region ranks first in the Russian Federation in terms of the number of seats in the university audiences per capita. The regional universities can ensure the high level of professional training almost for every specialty required by Turkmenistan: from the agricultural sector and fuel and energy complex to specialists in the field of physical education and sports.
The above example is only one episode of the intensive development and strengthening of partnership between business structures of Turkmenistan and Russia. On the whole, the system of trade and economic contacts between the two countries has undergone very significant changes in recent years. It is now being structurally readjusted in accordance with modern requirements.
If earlier the indicators characterizing the cooperation in the fuel and energy sectors of the two countries accounted for the lion's share of trade turnover between Turkmenistan and Russia, the priority is now given to the expansion of business contacts and increasing the range of import and export turnover. This trend has not appeared overnight. It has been the result of the multifaceted and painstaking work for establishment of strong economic relations between the relevant participants.
All the above said makes it possible to speak of the process of diversification of the Turkmen-Russian trade and economic contacts as a fait accompli that has the most favorable prospects for development and flourishing.


©Turkmenistan Analytic magazine, 2005