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Turkmenistan/Ukraine: Gas Talks Held

Ashgabat, 18 April 1997 (RFE/RL) - Turkmenistan's President President Saparmurad Niyazov and Ukraine's State Minister Anatoly Minchenko have held talks in Ashgabat on direct supplies of Turkmen natural gas to Ukraine.

Turkmenistan and Russia have agreed that Moscow will be responsible for transporting Turkmen petroleum products to other CIS members, but there have been disputes over transport fees. Supplies of Turkmen gas to Ukraine was shut off last month by the Russian transport company, because of Kyiv's debts.

According to Interfax news agency, the talks in Ashgabat yesterday focused on a long-term agreement on direct supplies of Turkmen gas to Ukraine. Discussions on the issue are expected to continue when Ukraine's President Leonid Kuchma visits Ashgabat next month.