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Ukraine, Turkmenistan Fail To Reach Gas Agreement

President Niyazov (file photo) Ashgabat, 23 March 2005 (RFE/RL) -- The Turkmen and Ukraine presidents, Saparmurat Niyazov and Viktor Yushchenko, respectively, have failed to agree on a long-term Turkmen gas supply deal for Ukraine.

Niyazov said he turned down Yushchenko on conditions for the supply of gas for the next 15 years. He was speaking at a joint press conference on the results of Yushchenko's two-day visit to Turkmenistan.

Ukraine's new government has said one of its top priorities is to diversify its sources of gas and oil supplies. Turkmenistan is one of the largest suppliers of natural gas to Ukraine.

Earlier this year, the Turkmen government forced Ukraine to pay higher prices after temporarily shutting off gas supplies. Turkmenistan resumed gas supplies after Ukraine agreed to a 32-percent price increase.