Turkmenistan has opened a second gas pipeline to Iran, further eroding Russia’s historical domination of its energy sector.
The new pipeline will eventually more than double Turkmenistan’s annual gas exports to Iran to 20bn cubic metres.
With a pipeline to China that opened last month, sales to Russia will be a much smaller proportion of exports.
The EU also wants to build a gas link that bypasses Russia, which for now remains the main buyer of Turkmen gas.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad inaugurated the new 30km (19 miles)
pipeline with Turkmen President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov in a
ceremony in the desert near the Iranian border.