http://gdb.rferl.org/ED6AEE95-BD23-4061-92B5-6B71F4A5CE24_w203.jpg --> http://gdb.rferl.org/ED6AEE95-BD23-4061-92B5-6B71F4A5CE24_mw800_mh600.jpg
Gas relay station outside Kyiv (file photo) (epa)
21 February 2006 -- Ukraine has rejected recent Turkmen accusations that it owes Turkmenistan millions of dollars in gas debts.
Turkmenistan says Ukraine owes it nearly $160 million for gas supplies. It says Ukrainian officials' failure to address the issue at talks in Ashgabat on 17-18 February could hamper future cooperation between Turkmenistan and Ukraine in gas supplies.
Oleksiy Ivchenko, the head of Ukraine's state Naftohaz oil and gas company, today said Ukraine has been duly paying for gas supplies and has no debts to Turkmenistan. He suggested the complaints were linked to Turkmenistan's attempts to raise gas prices.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk said Turkmenistan was making the accusations because it is unwilling or unable to meet its gas-supply obligations.
Gas from Turkmenistan is part of a deal reached between Russia and Ukraine after Russia suspended gas supplies to Ukraine on 1 January.
Click on the map for an enlarged image.
Russia's rising appetite for Central Asian gas is a direct result of the shifting fortunes of Gazprom, the state-run Russian company that controls lucrative exports. The company's total gas production has flatlined at around 550 billion cubic meters (bcm) a year. With major fields yielding less as they age, Gazprom has chosen to maintain its all-important gas balance by purchasing gas on the side -- from independent producers in Russia and from Russia's Central Asian neighbors -- instead of investing in the lengthy and costly development of untapped Arctic fields...(more)
Who's Afraid Of Gazprom? Controlling Gas Pipelines