Turkmenistan and Iran may start talks on gas dispute

Baku, Azerbaijan, April 26

By Huseyn Hasanov - Trend:

Turkmenistan and Iran, in May will return to discussing their gas dispute, in order to reach an agreement and avoid litigation, Iranian media reported.

IRNA quoted the Executive Director of the National Gas Company of Iran Hamid-Reza Araqi as saying that in May, Iranian and Turkmen experts will explore the differences between the positions of Iran and Turkmenistan in their gas dispute.

Iran's representative expressed hope that this would eventually lead to an agreement without a trial.

In December 2017, President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov instructed to prepare documents for appeal to the international arbitration court, within the framework of which it was necessary to discuss the issue of Iran's existing significant debt to pay for Turkmenistan's natural gas.

As stated in the message of the state news service of Turkmenistan Dovlet Habarlary (TDH), in the course of meetings and negotiations with representatives of the Iranian side, consensus on the issue could not be reached.

"In order to solve this problem in a mutually acceptable and objective manner, the Iranian partners proposed to apply to the international arbitration court," TDH noted at the time.

After hearing the arguments of the senior officials of the state concern "Turkmengaz", the President of Turkmenistan “instructed to support the proposal of the National Gas Company of Iran regarding appeal to the international court of arbitration and to prepare relevant documents for the upcoming procedure", TDH reported.

Iran receives Turkmen gas through several pipe strings, and the main one is the Korpeje-Kurt-Kui gas pipeline, which was put into operation in December 1995. In 2010, an additional pipeline was launched along the route of Dovletabad-Sarahs-Hangeran.

Turkmenistan, as reported earlier, was forced to restrict the supply of Turkmen natural gas to Iran from January 1, 2017 due to debts.

In this regard, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan reported that the National Gas Company of Iran, since 2013, has not made the necessary efforts to repay its debt for previously supplied Turkmen natural gas.

"As a result, a significant debt of the Iranian side has accrued, which creates financial difficulties for maintaining the work in the normal mode of the gas transportation infrastructure of Turkmenistan, focused on gas supplies to Iran under a long-term contract," the press release of Ministry of Foreign Affairs said at the time.

During 2016, the Iranian side was officially informed about the unfavorable situation in the field of gas supplies and about the possible limitation of Turkmen natural gas supplies.

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