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Turkmenistan To Cut Gas Supplies To Russia, Ukraine

30 December 2004 -- Turkmenistan says it will cut gas supplies to Russia tomorrow for a week and will halt deliveries to Ukraine until a new contract is agreed upon.

The Turkmen Foreign Ministry said in a statement today that deliveries to Russia will be suspended at midnight local time on 31 December until 7 January for maintenance operations.

The statement also said that a new agreement on the sale of gas to Russia should be reached early next month.

Turkmenistan threatened on 27 December to cut gas supplies to Russia if Russian gas giant Gazprom does not raise the amount it pays.

Gazprom needs Turkmen gas to meet its obligations to Ukraine and its western European customers.

Turkmenistan also announced that its gas shipments to Ukraine would be halted tomorrow until a new 2005 contract covering prices is signed.