ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey expects a cut in its natural gas imports from Iran to last a long time while Russia, another key energy provider, is unable to allocate additional supplies, a senior Energy Ministry official said yesterday. «The problems with gas coming from Iran to Turkey are seen lasting a long time,» the official told Reuters. Turkey’s state-run pipeline company Botas announced earlier yesterday that Iran had cut its gas exports to Turkey for technical reasons. Iran, source of nearly one-third of Turkey’s natural gas imports, later blamed the disruption on cold weather. Russia, which usually increases its gas exports to Turkey when supplies from Iran run short, said it could not provide additional gas during the shortage. «Due to cold weather in Russia, they cannot meet (our requests for additional gas supplies). In fact there is a daily 5-million-cubic meter drop in the gas supplies that are supposed to come from Russia,» said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity. Turkey will be taking other measures to secure supplies, such as making purchases from the spot liquid natural gas market, he added. «Additional measures are going to be applied to meet gas needs, LNG purchases form the spot market are planned,» he said. The disruption in Iranian gas supplies is seen to be a knock-on effect of a cut in natural gas deliveries to Iran from Turkmenistan. The energy-rich ex-Soviet republic has blamed the cut on technical problems, although some Iranian media reports have suggested it is linked to a pricing dispute.