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Kyrgyzstan: Still Talking With Uzbekistan Over Gas

(RFE/RL) BISHKEK, October 13, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- The head of Kyrgyzstan's national gas company today said no final agreement had been reached yet on the volume and price of Uzbek gas deliveries for next year.

Addressing reporters in Bishkek, Kyrgyzgaz head Igor Chudinov said he hoped a contract would be signed by the end of the month.

Chudinov confirmed that Uzbekistan is proposing $100 per 1,000 cubic meters as a starting price. But he said the final price of Uzbek gas supplies would depend on how much Kyrgyzstan would charge Tashkent for its electricity deliveries.

"I cannot talk for Electricity Power Stations (Kyrgyzstan's power company)," he said. "All I can say now is that there are making their own calculations and are in talks with their Uzbek counterparts in order to determine the volume and price of electricity supplies to Uzbekistan. To a certain extent, the outcome of their talks will affect negotiations on the price of Uzbek gas."

Uzbekistan has announced plans to raise the price of its gas exports to $100 per 1,000 cubic meters from a current $55. The price hike would take effect on January 1.

Chudinov said he believes Turkmenistan's July decision to raise the price of its gas supplies prompted Uzbekistan to follow suit.

Uzbekistan exports gas to Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. The gas sent to Russia is re-exported to Ukraine.

(RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service,

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