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Ukraine Honors Turkmenistan With Stamps

23 December 2005 -- Ukrainian Fuel and Energy Minister Ivan Plachkov said that his country has issued new stamps that commemorate the 10-year anniversary on 12 December of a UN decision to officially recognize Turkmenistan as a neutral country.

Ukraine and Turkmenistan are currently negotiating the price of Turkmen exports of natural gas to Ukraine. The two countries had a deal for Ukraine to purchase the gas at $44 dollars per 1,000 cubic meters, but Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov recently cited the falling value of the U.S. dollar as reason to increase the price to $60 per 1,000 cubic meters.

Plachkov said he had personally handed Niyazov one of the new stamps when he was in Turkmenistan on 22 December for gas negotiations.

Appearing on Ukraine's evening news last night, Plachkov said an agreement was close for the amount of gas and price, but he did not give any details.




Celeste Wallander directs the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and is a CSIS senior fellow. Before joining CSIS, she was senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, D.C., and associate professor of government at Harvard University. She is the founder and executive director of the Program on New Approaches to Russian Security. Her recent projects include work on U.S.-Russian security cooperation, the history of Russia and globalization, HIV/AIDS in Russia, and the 2004 Ukrainian presidential election. Among her books are "Swords And Sustenance: The Economics Of Security In Belarus And Ukraine" and "Mortal Friends, Best Enemies: German-Russian Cooperation After The Cold War." She is currently writing "Global Russia: Economics, Politics, And Security."

On November 29, 2005, she spoke with RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service about Russia's energy policies and how Moscow might be seeking to leverage its influence over its neighbors. Listen to the complete interview.
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To read a transcript of the interview,click here.

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