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Turkmenistan concerned on failure of Belarus to honour Potash complex contractual obligations – News Central Asia (nCa)

Ashgabat, 30 September 2016 (nCa) — Turkmenistan conveyed Friday its serious concern to Belarus on the slow pace of work on the Garlyk potash mining and processing complex, a mega project in the Lebap province of Turkmenistan.

In a meeting in Ashgabat, the deputy prime minister of Belarus Anatoly Kalinin was told that the failure of Belarus to honour its contractual obligations on the Garlyk complex was hampering the economic development plan of Turkmenistan.

He was briefed on the backlog of goals in the project that were lagging behind schedule.

Kalinin was reminded that despite several requests the Belarus side had still not confirmed the plan for delivery of equipment and machinery worth several dozen of dollars. The equipment in question is vital for the functioning of the potash mining and processing complex.

He was also told that the Turkmen citizens working on the project had not been paid their wages for the last several months.

Simultaneously, the Turkmen side pointed out that the recent reports in the Belarusian and other media about the non-compliance of Turkmenistan to meet its obligations were far from true. He was told that full payments are made on all the work that complies with the contractual obligations.

The framework for the Garlyk potash mining and processing complex was signed between Belarus and Turkmenistan in 2009. According to the terms of the contract, Belarus was supposed to provide the technology and know-how, together with implementation crew.

Belarus, whipped by the persistent economic crisis, has been unable to meet the agreed goals in the project.

Turkmenistan has shown flexibility keeping in view the very strong, broad and fraternal relations between the two countries. The terms of the contract were relaxed a few times to allow the Belarus side to cope with its diminished ability to deliver on its commitments.

Belarus agreed earlier this year that it will accord top priority to the completion of this vital project. The embassy of Belarus in Turkmenistan told nCa that the project should hopefully be delivered by April 2017.

The complex will produce 1.4 million tons of potash fertilizer and other products. About one million tons of potash fertilizer will be available for export. The project, in Garlyk area, is located close to the TAT rail (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Tajikistan railway line) route. These are the markets and also China and Pakistan that would be importing potash fertilizer from Turkmenistan. The TAT rail is nearing completion and it would be a huge loss if the potash complex does not come into production by that time.

Because of the robust and candid relations between the two countries, Turkmenistan has conveyed its concerns and expressed hope that the Belarus side will reciprocate accordingly.

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