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Ukraine In Talks With Turkmenistan Over Gas Cut-Off --> (file photo) 31 December 2004 -- Ukrainian officials were in urgent talks with Turkmenistan today in a bid to prevent a threatened cut-off of gas supplies at midnight tonight.

The head of Ukrainian gas company Naftogaz, Yuriy Boiko, said the negotiations would likely last into next year.

Ukraine gets nearly half of its gas from Turkmenistan.

The Turkmen Foreign Ministry said the decision to cut off Ukraine's gas was not politically motivated, but only due to a failure of the sides to agree contracts.

The Turkmen Foreign Ministry said gas supplies to Russia will also be cut off at midnight -- though it said this cut-off, which is reportedly due to pipeline repairs, will only last until 7 January.

Reports said Turkmenistan is seeking to increase the cost of gas it sells to Ukraine and Russia from the current 44 dollars per 1,000 cubic meters of gas to 60 dollars.