Oleksiy Ivchenko, the head of Ukraine's state Naftohaz oil and gas company, today said Ukraine has been duly paying for gas supplies and has no debts to Turkmenistan. He suggested the complaints were linked to Turkmenistan's attempts to raise gas prices.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk said Turkmenistan was making the accusations because it is unwilling or unable to meet its gas-supply obligations.
Gas from Turkmenistan is part of a deal reached between Russia and Ukraine after Russia suspended gas supplies to Ukraine on 1 January.
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Russia's rising appetite for Central Asian gas is a direct result of the shifting fortunes of Gazprom, the state-run Russian company that controls lucrative exports. The company's total gas production has flatlined at around 550 billion cubic meters (bcm) a year. With major fields yielding less as they age, Gazprom has chosen to maintain its all-important gas balance by purchasing gas on the side -- from independent producers in Russia and from Russia's Central Asian neighbors -- instead of investing in the lengthy and costly development of untapped Arctic fields...(more)