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Kyrgyzstan Rations Gasoline After Russian Deliveries Halted

Kyrgyz Prime Minister Almazbek Atambaev is in favor of joining a Russian-led customs union.
BISHKEK -- Kyrgyzstan has introduced gasoline rationing after a Russian refinery stopped supplying fuel earlier this month to non-members of the Commonwealth of Independent States Customs Union, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Russia's Gazprom Neft-Aziya provides almost 70 percent of all gasoline imported to Kyrgyzstan from Russia.

Jumakadyr Akeneev, who heads Kyrgyzstan's Association of Oil Traders, told RFE/RL that talks are under way with the refinery in the western city of Omsk about the possible resumption of deliveries.

Akeneev said Gazprom's gas stations in Kyrgyzstan currently have a very limited amount of gasoline in their supplies. He said some 65,000 tons of gasoline are being shipped to Kyrgyzstan from refineries in Astrakhan, Kazan, and Salavat to try to fulfill demand.

The Belarus-Kazakhstan-Russia Customs Union was launched last year. It offers trade privileges to member countries, including lower export-import tariffs and therefore cheaper prices for many goods.

Kyrgyz Prime Minister Almazbek Atambaev has called for Kyrgyzstan to join the customs union, but many Kyrgyz politicians are against joining.

Read more in Kyrgyz here