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Russia's Gazprom To Charge Neighbors More For Gas

Gazprom says current rates don't cover production and transportation costs (AFP) 29 November 2005 -- Russia's state-controlled natural gas monopoly Gazprom said today it is planning to raise prices for deliveries to CIS countries.

Aleksandr Ryazanov, deputy director of Gazprom's board of directors, made the announcement at an international gas forum in Moscow.

Ryazanov noted that Germany used to pay $80 per 1,000 cubic meters for gas deliveries. By that standard, he said, Ukraine's fees of $50 seemed "reasonable."

But now that Germany is paying $200 per unit, he added, Ukraine's payments are too low in comparison. "That doesn't even cover our real costs for producing and transporting gas to CIS countries," he said.

Ryazanov said Gazprom told the South Caucasus nation of Georgia last week it will raise its rates to $110 per 1,000 cubic meters as of next year. Georgia currently pays $60 per unit for its Russian gas shipments.

Ryazanov also said Gazprom was raising rates to $110 for Armenia, $150-$160 for Moldova, and $120-$125 for the three Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.

Georgian Prime Minister Zurab Noghaideli last week said he regretted Gazprom's decision to raise gas prices, calling it a "political move."

Ryazanov denied the price hike was political.

(RIA-Novosti/ORT TV)

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