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Friday, March 12, 1999 Published at 12:12 GMT

World: Europe

Turkey and Turkmenistan sign gas price deal

Turkmenistan and Turkey have signed an agreement outlining the sale of Turkmen gas to Turkey.

The deal, signed in the Turkmen capital, Ashkabad, sets out how much gas Turkey will buy and and at what price.

The agreement is seen a vital step in the Washington-backed project to build a pipeline connecting the vast gas resources of central Asia to Turkey across the Caspian seabed.

Russia has traditionally controlled pipelines in the region and Washington and the central Asian states have been trying to break Moscow's stranglehold.

Washington also opposes an alternative route for Turkmenistan's gas through Iran.

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