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Turkmenistan To Suspend Gas Exports To Russia --> (RFE/RL) July 24, 2006 - Turkmenistan today said it would temporarily stop shipping natural gas to Russia due to planned repair work on its main export pipeline.

Turkmenistan's Oil and Gas Ministry says in a statement shipments would be halted starting from July 25 for eight days, reducing the country’s overall daily gas exports by up to 80 million cubic meters.

The ministry says the suspension for repair work was requested by Gazprom, the Russian gas monopoly that operates the Central Asia-Center-IV pipeline that links Dowletabat to Russia via Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan.

There was no immediate confirmation from Gazprom.

Turkmenistan's Foreign Ministry warned on June 29, after a suspension of talks on gas deliveries to Russia, that supplies would be cut off in September if Moscow and Ashgabat fail to reach a new import deal.

The Soviet-era Central Asia-Center-IV pipeline has an annual capacity of 44 billion cubic meters, and Gazprom has reportedly said that it wants to nearly double that.

Russia relies more and more on Turkmen gas to meet demand from third countries.

(Interfax, AFP)

Turkmenistan In The Middle

Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov (right) meeting with Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko in Ashgabat in March 2005

PLAYING BOTH SIDES: The Russian-Ukrainian gas dispute is testing Turkmenistan's self-declared policy of neutrality. Along with Russia, Turkmenistan is one of Ukraine's two biggest gas suppliers. Throughout the crisis, Ukraine suggested it could turn to Turkmenistan to make up any losses of Russian gas supplies. That puts Turkmenistan in a difficult position as it seeks to balance its relations with two capitals: Moscow and Kyiv...(more)


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An archive of all of RFE/RL's coverage of Turkmenistan.