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China’s activities diminish Russia’s influence in some post-Soviet countries

By Messenger Staff
Friday, December 18
On December 14 an imposing ceremony was held on the occasion of the opening of a new natural gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to China. The Heads of State of Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and China attended.

Under the terms of this project Turkmenistan will supply China with 40 billion cubic metres of natural gas a year for the next 30 years. Until recently more than half of the Turkmen natural gas production was bought by Russia's Gazprom. Analysts suggest that this project will eventually decrease Russia’s influence over Turkmenistan and other post-Soviet countries and increase China’s influence in the region.

Polish newspaper Dziennik commented on December 16 that Moscow has become the victim of its own weapon. Now as China has negotiated with Turkmenistan and built a giant natural gas pipeline bypassing Russia it has become the leading player in the region. Consequently former Soviet republics will see that they have a new partner and no longer have to be dependent solely on Moscow.