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Kazakhstan Steps Into Kyrgyz-Uzbek Gas Row

30 August 2005 (RFE/RL) -- A Kyrgyz official today said that Kazakhstan will likely meet Kyrgyzstan's natural-gas needs after talks on buying cheaper gas from Uzbekistan broke down.

Speaking in Bishkek, Kubanychbek Jusupov, deputy chief of the Kyrgyz state gas company Kyrgyzgaz, said that Kazakhstan's state gas company, Kaztransgaz, will likely supply Kyrgyzstan's gas needs for this year.

Jusupov said Kazakhstan is offering gas at $43 per 1,000 cubic meters, $1 more than Uzbekistan was offering.

On 29 August, Kyrgyzgaz announced that Uzbekistan failed to put into effect a June deal on gas supplies until August next year.

Negotiations on restarting Uzbek gas exports to Kyrgyzstan recently broke down amid political tensions that started over Kyrgyzstan's harboring hundreds of Uzbek refugees who fled a military crackdown in eastern Uzbekistan in May.

(RFE/RL Kyrgyz Service/AFP)