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Turkmenistan files application to arbitration court due to gas dispute with Iran

August 17/ 13:08

Ashgabat. Turkmenistan has officially submitted an application to the International Court of Arbitration to resolve the gas dispute with Iran, the Iranian media reported. The court is expected to render its verdict within two years, Mehr Agency noted.

In December 2017, the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov gave instruction on preparation of the documents for appeal to the International Court of Arbitration, within which the issue of Iran's significant debt for payment of Turkmen natural gas was to be discussed.

According to "Turkmen Dovlat Khabarlary" state news agency, during the meetings and negotiations held with representatives of the Iranian side, consensus on the issue under discussion could not be reached.

"In order to find a mutually acceptable and objective solution to this problem, the Iranian partners propose to apply to the International Court of Arbitration," the agency wrote at the time.

After listening to the arguments of the leadership of the "Turkmengas" State Concern, the President of Turkmenistan "gave instruction to support the proposal of the National Iranian Gas Company regarding the appeal to the International Court of Arbitration and to prepare the relevant documents for the upcoming procedure", said the report.

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

As previously reported by the official Ashgabat, Turkmenistan was forced to limit the supply of Turkmen natural gas to Iran because of debts from January 1, 2017.

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

"As a result, a significant debt of the Iranian side was formed, which creates financial difficulties to maintain the normal operation of the gas transport infrastructure of Turkmenistan, focused on the supply of gas to Iran under a long-term contract," the press release of the agency said at the time.

During 2016, the Iranian side was officially informed on several occasions about the current unfavorable situation in the field of gas supplies and possible restrictions on the supply of Turkmen natural gas, informs Trend.

It was also stressed that the delay in the payment of funds due to Turkmengas SC, which operated on the principles of self-sufficiency and self-financing, could lead to a technical stoppage of work on gas wells, compressor stations, treatment plants and other elements of the gas system of Turkmenistan, through which natural gas was supplied to Iran.

According to the information broadcasted by the Iranian TV channel PressTV, Ashgabat demanded at that time from Tehran to pay the debt for deliveries in 2007-2008 in the amount of $1.8 billion.

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