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Tymoshenko Calls For New Gas Deal With Russia --> Russians demonstrating in Moscow in December 2005, calling on Kyiv to pay more for natural gas (epa) June 26, 2006 -- Yuliya Tymoshenko, who is expected to become Ukraine's next prime minister, has called for a new deal with Russia on natural-gas supplies, without intermediaries.

Ukraine's January deal with Russia, which ended a row over gas prices that had briefly disrupted European supplies, involved a little-known intermediary, RosUkrEnergo.

Under the deal Ukraine agreed to pay nearly double what it had been paying for Russian and Turkmen gas supplies.

Tymoshenko said in an interview published today she was convinced the three countries should conclude an agreement directly, without "shady or semi-shady intermediaries."

She said she plans to start gas talks with Russia in a week.

Tymoshenko's earlier call for deep revisions in the January gas agreement sparked a sharp warning from Russia's Gazprom not to reignite the gas dispute.

(compiled from agency reports)

Turkmenistan In The Middle

Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov (right) meeting with Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko in Ashgabat in March 2005

PLAYING BOTH SIDES: The Russian-Ukrainian gas dispute is testing Turkmenistan's self-declared policy of neutrality. Along with Russia, Turkmenistan is one of Ukraine's two biggest gas suppliers. Throughout the crisis, Ukraine suggested it could turn to Turkmenistan to make up any losses of Russian gas supplies. That puts Turkmenistan in a difficult position as it seeks to balance its relations with two capitals: Moscow and Kyiv...(more)


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An archive of all of RFE/RL's coverage of Turkmenistan.