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Turkmen Leader Invites Medvedev Over Gas Row

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov
ASHGABAT (Reuters) -- Turkmen leader Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov has invited Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to Turkmenistan for the first meeting since the start of a gas row that has halted Turkmen gas shipments to Russia.

Russia, the main buyer of Turkmen gas, halted its imports in April after a pipeline explosion. The pipeline has been repaired but the two sides cannot agree on new terms of sales as Russia's Gazprom needs less gas than in the past.

Berdymukhammedov invited Medvedev to pay a visit in September in a telephone conversation earlier this week, during which they also discussed energy cooperation, state media reported on July 1.

State news agency Turkmen Khabarlary said Berdymukhammedov had also spoken to Ukrainian President Viktor Yuschenko by telephone and invited him to visit Turkmenistan in September. Before the row, Russia used to resell some Turkmen gas to Ukraine.