Turkmenistan will resume natural gas supplies to Russia on January 9, 2010, Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov said on Thursday.
Russia and Turkmenistan agreed on December 22 that the Central Asian state will resume natural gas supplies to Russia in January to deliver up to 30 billion cubic meters annually at European-level prices.
"Turkmenistan is our strategic partner and we are very glad that we have managed to agree all the terms. On January 9, at 10:00 a.m. [7:00 GMT], Turkmen gas supplies will restart," Kupriyanov said in an interview with Ekho Moskvy radio station.
The countries' gas monopolies Gazprom and Turkmengaz signed a deal on the sidelines of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's visit to the Turkmen capital on December 22, ending a months-long gas dispute between the two ex-Soviet states.
Russia paid $300 per 1,000 cu m of gas to the ex-Soviet state under the previous contract, importing some 50 billion cu m., or two thirds of Turkmenistan's own production. Supplies were interrupted in April after a pipeline explosion.
Turkmenistan accused Gazprom of failing to warn that it was reducing gas imports, resulting in a buildup of pipeline pressure that caused the blast.
Gazprom reduced imports after a drop in demand from European consumers amid the global economic crisis.
Earlier this month, Turkmenistan and China unveiled a gas pipeline to run via Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, bypassing Russia. Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan are to supply 30 billion cu m of gas to China annually.
Kupriyanov also said that Gazprom would for the first time start the purchase of natural gas from Azerbaijan from January 1, 2010, with gas deliveries expected to equal about 1 billion cu m. annually.
MOSCOW, December 31 (RIA Novosti)