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ASHGABAT: Russia's imports of natural gas from Turkmenistan have doubled in 2021 from the volumes the previous year, Moscow's ambassador to the Central Asian country said Friday.

Russia was once the largest purchaser of Turkmen gas but lost ground to China after 2009 when Beijing completed the first of a series of cross-regional pipelines and Moscow and Ashgabat were embroiled in a dispute over prices.

Russian ambassador Alexander Blokhin said at a briefing that Russia's imports of gas in 2021 would "probably double (to) 10 billion cubic metres per year" compared to the 2020 figure.

Natural gas prices hit fresh record peaks

Russia's state energy giant Gazprom resumed purchases of Turkmen gas in 2019 after ceasing them in 2016.

The contract the pair agreed was for 5.5 billion cubic metres of gas per year.

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov said in August that China currently purchases around 40 billion cubic metres of gas from Turkmenistan annually and predicted that the figure could rise to 65 bcm and eventually 100 bcm in the future.

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