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Uzbek, Tajik Officials Discuss Gas Price For 2010

DUSHANBE -- The head of Tajikistan's TajikTransGaz says gas negotiations with Uzbekistan are progressing but that there is still no agreement on a gas price for 2010, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

Saidmamad Sharofiddinov told RFE/RL today that the two countries plan to complete gas talks in the next two weeks.

But he added that Uzbekistan is insisting to keep the 2009 gas price -- some $240 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas.

Sharofiddinov said world gas prices have fallen and therefore Tashkent should decrease its price as well.

He added that Tajikistan expects Uzbekistan to decrease its price for gas by 30 percent.

Tajikistan planned to buy some 550 million cubic meters of gas from Uzbekistan in 2010.

Uzbekistan supplies some 95 percent of Tajikistan's gas needs and disagreements between the two countries in recent years have caused Uzbek officials to turn off the gas flow to Tajikistan that has led to severe energy shortages, particularly during the winter.