DUSHANBE: Russia on Friday lamented a lack of progress in joint energy projects with Pakistan and Afghanistan that could help bring stability to the volatile region as President Dmitry Medvedev met his counterparts for a security summit.
Meeting his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari and Afghanistan's Hamid Karzai for a four-way summit that also included Tajikistan, Medvedev said Russia was ready to invest "millions of dollars" in the joint energy projects.
"There's a whole range of projects that have been on the table for a long time which have seen no movement forward and which should be implemented," Medvedev said in the Tajik capital Dushanbe.
"It is time to move from words to deeds," he said, referring to a project codenamed CASA-1000, whose aim will be sending power from Tajikistan to Afghanistan and Pakistan, and a transnational gas pipeline.
The four-way summit in the ex-Soviet Central Asian nation of Tajikistan comes after Medvedev hosted Zardari, Karzai and Tajikistan President Emomali Rakhmon for a rare summit in Sochi in August 2010.
During that gathering the four leaders agreed to pursue joint economic projects to help bring stability to the volatile region.
Speaking in Dushanbe, Medvedev said Russia was ready to invest "hundreds of millions of dollars" into the CASA-1000 project to send power from Tajikistan and fellow Central Asian nation of Kyrgyzstan to Afghanistan and Pakistan.
"But for it to happen, necessary organisational decisions should be taken first, we have to be invited," Medvedev told reporters after the talks.
He also confirmed Russia's interest in a key transnational gas pipeline from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to Pakistan and India.
The 1,700-kilometre Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline has been on hold for many years due to the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan and economic reasons
The gas price has also been a contentious issue.
"The question is at what price Turkmenistan would be selling gas to the project's participants?" Russian energy minister Sergei Shmatko told reporters in Dushanbe.
The TAPI pipeline aims to transport over 30 billion cubic metres of gas annually from the Dauletabad gas fields in southeast Turkmenistan and could become a cash cow for Afghanistan in transit fees.
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@Priyanka - India is the 'Wild Card' and has thrown its wasteful weight in the Afghanistan-Pakistan equation and it is the dishonest player for the purpose of exploitaion and dominance at any cost, much to the disadvantage of world peace. Afghanistan and Pakistan have deep roots and common foundation that would make India lose in the end - Big Time. Both Pakistan and Afghanistan know that India is a master of manipulation and is able to decieve the world . . . . India knows how to exploit, create terror outlets and networks, cause proxy wars, blame other countries and then come out looking deceptively good in the eyes of the naive only - rest assured, this a temporary phenomenon. . . Sooner or later truth does surface. . .
@MarkH: India has grown up already. And for your info the information about threat to India is given by western agencies, not by local Hindi ones!
All these excercise will be futile if there will be no stability in Afghanistan and that can only be possible if Pakistan along with NATO attept to disarm the terrorists operating in the region .For such operation it has to withdraw its force from LOC with India and has to forget Kashmir . All that it wants is not possible at a time ,,..?
@ex: Funny thing about your comment. Afghanistan and India can also say the same things about Pakistan without needing to conjure up a fake conspiracy. Have mirrors been outlawed in Pakistan or something? Pakistan and India need to grow up and Afghanistan needs to keep its eyes open in every direction with its current fragile state.
Afghans have to drop there obsession with Pakistan Indians have to stop using Afghanistan as a anti pakistan proxy war ground
Region has lots of potential but terrorism and economic prosperity do not go hand in hand. Quit using terrorist as strategic assets --- get rid of your reputation as Jihad Central --- take actual control/responsibility of all of Pakistan --- help provide stability to Afghanistan --- and watch the people line up to invest.
What about the Iranian gas pipe line coming to Pakistan, although the US has tried to scuttle the agreement but it is in the interest of Pakistan to go ahead and do their part right away.Pakistan should not depend on Afghanistan's goodwill and be blackmailed in the process in the future.This government in Pakistan is looking out for themselves and not the nation, the main actors will fly the coop when election are held and they will definitely be ousted and why not, just look at their performance.Pakistanis should wake up and see where their national interests lie,one would be a cordial relationship with neighbor Iran regardless what the US thinks or say about Iran.