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Gazprom Chief Visits Bishkek To Discuss Kyrgyzstan's Energy Security

The head of Russian energy giant Gazprom, Aleksei Miller, has visited Bishkek to discuss Kyrgyzstan's energy security after neighboring Uzbekistan halted supplies of natural gas.

Uzbekistan stopped piping gas to its smaller Central Asian neighbor after Kyrgyzstan sold a majority stake in state natural-gas company KyrgyzGaz to Gazprom in April.

A Gazprom statement says that during Miller's meeting with Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambaev on August 27, "it was noted that Gazprom's entrance onto the Kyrgyz market is a guarantee of the uninterrupted supply of gas to consumers."

It says Miller and Atambaev discussed plans for major improvements in Kyrgyzstan's gas pipeline system, particularly in the south.

Uzbekistan's cutoff has mainly affected southern Kyrgyzstan, where residents have staged several protests demanding authorities solve the problem.