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Turkmenistan: Kazakhstan Asked To Pay Debt

Ashgabat, 5 March 1997 (RFE/RL) - Turkmenistan is demanding that Kazakhstan pay -- by October -- all debts to Ashgabat for electric energy supplies for 1995-96. Itar-Tass news agency cites Turkmen officials as saying the debt is about $24 million.

Reports say agreement on the payments was reached during Turkmenistan-Kazakhstan talks in Almaty last week on the sidelines of a conference on the status of the Aral Sea. A barter deal was reported made, with Kazakhstan paying in goods including: asbestos, phosphorus, lead, and other materials.

A joint commission was also formed to resolved bi-lateral disagreements on debts from 1993-94. Those debts involve energy shipments from Turkmenistan, and grain shipments from Kazakhstan.