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Russia, Ukraine To Hold Gas Talks In Turkmenistan

(epa) 17 February 2006 -- Turkmen leaders are expected today to hold talks on the price of Turkmen natural gas exports with visiting officials from Russia and Ukraine.

The Turkmen Foreign Ministry said Aleksei Miller, CEO of Russia's state-controlled monopoly Gazprom, was expected to meet with President Saparmurat Niyazov.

Ukrainian Fuel and Energy Minister Ivan Plachkov is also expected to meet with top Turkmen officials in Ashgabat, possibly including Niyazov.

Russian Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko was quoted on 16 February as saying a recent agreement on gas deliveries to Ukraine would have to be renegotiated if Turkmenistan carries out plans to increase the price of its natural gas exports from $65 to $100 per 1,000 cubic meters later this year.

Gas from Turkmenistan is part of the deal reached between Russia and Ukraine after Russia suspended gas supplies to Ukraine on 1 January.


Turkmenistan In The Middle

Turkmenistan In The Middle

Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov (right) meeting with Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko in Ashgabat in March 2005

PLAYING BOTH SIDES: The Russian-Ukrainian gas dispute is testing Turkmenistan's self-declared policy of neutrality. Along with Russia, Turkmenistan is one of Ukraine's two biggest gas suppliers. Throughout the crisis, Ukraine suggested it could turn to Turkmenistan to make up any losses of Russian gas supplies. That puts Turkmenistan in a difficult position as it seeks to balance its relations with two capitals: Moscow and Kyiv...(more)


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