Russia has started delivering natural gas to Uzbekistan through Kazakhstan in a move that aims to strengthen energy security in the region. The President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, attended an official launch ceremony alongside his Kazakh and Uzbek counterparts, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and Shavkat Mirzoyev.
The project, according to President Putin, is mutually beneficial for all three countries involved. Uzbekistan will have an additional source of energy, ensuring a continuous supply of heat and electricity to households and important facilities. Meanwhile, Kazakhstan will be able to address the issue of gasification in its northern and eastern regions. Gazprom, the Russian gas major, is already working on planning appropriate routes and parameters for gas supply.
President Putin also emphasized that the project will help Russia confirm its status as a reliable supplier of natural gas. He expressed openness to further cooperation and meeting the needs of other consumers interested in this type of fuel.
This project is significant as it marks the first time that Russian gas has been pumped towards Central Asia. Uzbekistan reached an agreement with Russia in June to purchase gas, with Gazprom supplying 2.8 billion cubic meters annually over the next two years through the Central Asia-Center pipeline. Previously, this pipeline was used to transport gas from Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan’s southern neighbor.
In addition to the gas agreement with Uzbekistan, Gazprom also signed a deal with QazaqGaz, the state-owned gas company in Kazakhstan, for the transit of gas to Uzbekistan. The agreement stipulates the overall transit of six billion cubic meters of gas annually through the Central Asia-Center pipeline. Analysts believe that this implies other Central Asian countries may also start importing Russian gas via this route.
The launch of this gas delivery project not only strengthens energy security in the region but also highlights Russia’s role as a reliable supplier of natural gas. By expanding its reach to Central Asia, Russia is diversifying its customer base and opening up opportunities for further cooperation in the future.
Overall, this project marks a significant milestone in the energy cooperation between Russia, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan. It will provide Uzbekistan with a much-needed additional source of energy, while also addressing gasification concerns in northern and eastern regions of Kazakhstan. The successful implementation of this project sets the stage for future collaboration and partnership in the energy sector in the region.