Russian gas giant Gazprom has signed a contract with Turkish natural gas marketing company Avrasya to supply 500 million cubic meters of gas per year until 2021.

The signing of deal ends the first stage of the transfer of rights to sell gas by state-owned Botas to the private companies participating in the gas market liberalization of Turkey.

Sergey Kupriyanov, press secretary of Gazprom, said: Turkey is an extremely important partner for us. Russian gas export volumes to Turkey increase annually. In 2006 they were 20bcm. We are expecting that this number will reach 23bcm in 2007. Turkey is the third largest Russian gas buyer.

Gazprom has stated that it will fulfill the deal commitments and, in case of any unforeseen circumstances, will not refuse to supply additional gas volumes to the Turkish market.