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Uzbekistan Cuts Gas Supplies To Kyrgyzstan

29 August 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Kubanychbek Jusupov, the deputy head of the Kyrgyz national-gas distributor Kyrgyzgaz, said today that the Uzbek government had refused without explanation to put into effect a June deal on gas supplies until August 2006.

He said Bishkek will have to buy more gas from Kazakhstan to avoid a possible crisis this winter.

Uzbek officials were not immediately available for comment.

Jusupov said Kyrgyz officials believe the decision was linked to the July evacuation of more than 400 Uzbek refugees from Kyrgyzstan to Romania. The refugees fled to neighboring Kyrgyzstan after Uzbek troops in May forcibly put down an uprising in the eastern Uzbek city of Andijon.

Tashkent had demanded that some of them be deported back home, where authorities said they were wanted as criminals.

(RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service/AP)