DUSHANBE -- Gasoline prices in Tajikistan have hit a new high after Russia increased tariffs for oil and oil products exported to the Central Asian country, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.
As of April 5, gasoline 95 is selling for 4.9 somonis ($1.10) per liter, up 10 percent since the beginning of the month.
Two weeks ago, Russia decided to increase duties on Russian oil products going to Tajikistan by up to 5.3 percent from the beginning of April.
Tajik journalist and commentator Zafar Abdulloev said it appears Russia is trying to solve its political problems with Tajikistan using economic tools.
But Tajik Communist Party leader Shodi Shabdolov, who is also a parliament member, said he is confident that the tariff increase is purely economic and has no political aim.
Tajikistan was exempted from paying Russian tariffs on oil and gas from 1995-2010.
When Russia canceled Tajikistan's tax exemption last summer, Tajik Prime Minister Oqil Oqilov sent a letter to his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, asking for the tax-free status to be restored.
Afterward, working groups from the two sides held several rounds of negotiations and in the fall declared that the issue over tariffs was nearly resolved.