Iran has agreed to export up to 30 bln cubic meters of natural gas to Ukraine per year, a senior Iranian oil ministry official told state radio, according to AFP.

"Ukraine has shown its willingness to purchase 20 to 30 billion cubic meters of gas per year from Iran for its domestic consumption," Iranian Deputy Oil Minister Hadi Nejad-Hosseinian said, Turkish Weekly reported.

"Ukraine also agreed to export up to 20 billion cubic meters of our gas to Europe through its own installations," according to the memorandum of understanding signed last week, he added.

"Both countries are going to invite the countries on the way of the pipeline like Georgia, Armenia and Russia to a conference in Tehran in mid-September to talk about a pipeline and how to carry it out," the oil official added.

He did not elaborate on the deal's financial worth.

Nejad-Hosseinian said that striking the deal with Ukraine solved Iran's problem of selling its gas to Europe through its western neighbor, Iraq.

He added that Turkish involvement in Iranian gas exports to Europe was no longer needed.

"The problem we had with Turkey was that they thought that the only way for Iranian gas to reach Europe was through their territories," he said.

"They said they were not ready to transport Iranian gas export to Europe, telling us that they would buy it from us and re-sell it."

Iran holds 18 percent of the world's proven gas reserves with 28 trillion cubic meters of natural gas, and is second only to Russia.


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