- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 3, 2019

MOSCOW (AP) - Russia’s state-controlled natural gas monopoly Gazprom has signed a five-year contract to import gas from the energy-rich Central Asian nation of Turkmenistan.

Gazprom said Wednesday the contract envisages importing 5.5 billion cubic meters of Turkmen gas a year.

The company resumed buying Turkmen gas in April more than three years after cutting off purchases of the ex-Soviet country’s key export.

Prior to halting imports in 2016 amid a slump in global prices, Russia had been the largest customer for Turkmen gas, buying about 10 billion cubic meters a year. The loss of exports to Russia was a significant blow to the Turkmen economy.

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