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Russian, Turkmen Presidents To Meet In Sochi

Vladimir Putin (left) Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov speak as they walk on the Caspian Sea embankment at the summit in Aqtau on August 12.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov are due to meet on August 15 for what the Kremlin describes as talks on an "entire range of bilateral relations," including a "possible energy dialogue."

The talks in Russia's Black Sea resort city of Sochi come after Putin and Berdymukhammedov signed a "strategic partnership" agreement in Ashgabat in October 2017.

Ties between Russia and Turkmenistan have been strained by disputes over the issue of natural-gas supplies.

Russia has suspended gas purchases from Turkmenistan for years while the Central Asian former Soviet republic supplied China with its fuel.

Turkmenistan casts itself as a neutral country and is not a member of the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union or the Collective Security Treaty Organization, which include other former Soviet republics in Central Asia.

The Sochi meeting follows an August 12 summit in Kazakhstan's port city of Aqtau where Putin, Berdymukhammedov, and the presidents of Azerbaijan, Iran, and Kazakhstan signed a new convention on the legal status of the resource-rich Caspian Sea -- a matter disputed by the five littoral states for more than 20 years.

Based on reporting by Reuters and TASS