In the last days contradictory information started to circulate in the mass media of Iran and other states concerning Turkmen-Iranian relations in the gas sphere. Some of them allegedly state about “unexpected and inconsistent with bilateral agreement” termination of natural Turkmen gas supplies to Iran as of January 1st 2017. On the contrary, in other publications it is noted that Iran has signed a five year contract with Turkmenistan on the supply of Turkmen gas.
In this regard, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan states that such oppositely disposed and illogical informational outbursts do not have any roots.
In reality, Turkmenistan carries out gas supplies to Iran starting from December 1997 according to the purchase contract and strictly complies with the conditions prescribed in the bilateral agreement.
At the same time, unfortunately, starting from 2013 Iran's national gas company does not show appropriate efforts to pay off the debts for natural Turkmen gas which has been previously supplied to the Islamic Republic. As a result, a vast debt of the Iranian side has accumulated which creates financial difficulties for operating the gas-transport infrastructure at regular mode aimed at long-term gas supply to Iran.
During the year 2016, the Iranian side has been officially informed on occasional basis about the unfavorable state taking place in the sphere of gas supplies including a possible limitation of natural Turkmen gas. At the same time, it was noted that delays in payments owed to the “Turkmengas” State Concern which is functioning on self-supporting and self-financing basis might bring to the technical termination of work at gas wells, compressor plants, treating plants and other components of gas system of Turkmenistan which enables the natural gas transport to Iran. Alongside, the Turkmen side has made various proposals for effective resolution of the issues derived.
However, the lack of positive reaction of Iran's national gas company to the constructive initiatives of Turkmenistan and inactivity in the search of mutually acceptable alternatives have resulted in forced limitation of natural Turkmen gas supplies to Iran as of January 1, 2017.
Stating the above-mentioned, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan underlines that any attempts to politicize this issue regardless of the origin will be considered as unfriendly acts towards Turkmenistan and will be immediately disclaimed by the Turkmen side.