The energy-rich Central Asian nation of Turkmenistan has suspended shipments of natural gas to Iran, which it says has not paid for deliveries since 2013.
Turkmenistan's Foreign Ministry said in a statement Tuesday that Iran's failure to make payments in a timely fashion hindered Turkmenistan's ability to operate its gas transportation infrastructure. Gas deliveries were halted on Jan. 1.
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Turkmenistan has been exporting gas to Iran under an agreement signed two decades ago, but occasionally raises its prices during the winter. In 2006, it suspended shipments and demanded a nine-fold price increase. Iran eventually accepted the higher prices for a short period.
In 2016, Russia stopped buying gas from Turkmenistan, which is now left with China as its sole customer.