Turkmenistan to go to arbitration over gas dispute with Iran

Turkmenistan to go to arbitration over gas dispute with Iran

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ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan (AP) - Turkmenistan's state-controlled gas company says the Central Asian nation will go to arbitration to settle a gas dispute with Iran.

The energy-rich Central Asian nation halted shipments of natural gas to Iran at the year's start, citing Iranian's debt for previous supplies.

Turkmengas company chief Myrat Archayev reported that the talks with Iran were unsuccessful, and President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov instructed to settle the dispute at arbitration, according to Tuesday's report in Neutral Turkmenistan newspaper.

Turkmenistan exported gas to Iran under a 1997 agreement, but occasionally raised its prices during the winter. In 2006, it suspended shipments and demanded a nine-fold price increase. Iran eventually accepted the higher prices for a short period.

In 2016, Russia stopped buying gas from Turkmenistan, which is now left with China as its sole customer.

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