Putin hosts Turkmen counterpart after signing Caspian deal

Putin hosts Turkmen counterpart after signing Caspian deal
Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, talks with Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow during the 5th Caspian summit at the Friendship Palace in Aktau, the Caspian Sea port in Kazakhstan, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2018. (Alexei Nikolsky, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin has hosted the leader of Turkmenistan for talks following the signing of an agreement on that divides the resources of the Caspian Sea among neighboring countries.

Putin’s talks with Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov followed Sunday’s summit in Kazakhstan, where Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan signed a convention aimed at ending decades-long uncertainty over resource exploitation.

Putin said Wednesday he would like to discuss bilateral ties following the convention’s signing.

Russia stopped buying Turkmenistan’s natural gas in 2016 amid a slump in global prices, citing contract violations by Turkmenistan. Turkmenistan then halted shipments of natural gas to Iran, citing Iran’s debt for previous supplies, and was left with China as its sole customer.

Officials hint Russia may resume gas imports from Turkmenistan in the near future.