On Wednesday, Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller held a working meeting in St. Petersburg with Kazakhstan’s First Deputy Prime Minister Roman Sklyar. Following the talks, the two sides signed off on a roadmap for gas cooperation. No details of the document are available, but experts say this could be the first step toward establishing a natural gas union that would benefit everyone.

Iran PressEurope: "The agreement signed between Kazakhstan and Gazprom is a step closer to a major project that is commonly called the trilateral alliance," Head of the Central Asia and Kazakhstan Department of the Institute of CIS Countries Andrey Grozin told Nezavisimaya Gazeta.

According to the expert, this is how Russia has been implementing its new energy strategy that will be reoriented southwards from the west.

"This will be Russia’s new state policy course, and it is obvious that neither Astana nor Tashkent will refuse to participate in the project. Experts agree that Southeast Asia will become the largest energy-consuming region by the middle of this century, and an expanded network of gas pipelines to Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and China, as fantastic as it sounds today, will soon become a reality. Therefore, it is necessary to market [Russian] raw materials in the economies of the South," Grozin believes.

However, Senior Researcher at the IMEMO Center for Post-Soviet Studies Stanislav Pritchin warned that if Astana and Tashkent viewed the trilateral gas union through the prism of geopolitics, fearing Western sanctions, nobody would win, for such a position would be counterproductive, originally envisaging conflict and playing against the interests of the union members themselves.


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