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Uzbekistan Bans Road Transport Of Natural Gas

Uzbekistan has banned the road transportation of liquefied natural gas through its territory, a decision the government says is intended to protect public safety and the environment.

The ban, announced on January 2, will mainly affect neighboring Tajikistan.

On December 31, Uzbekistan suspended gas deliveries via pipeline to energy-starved Tajikistan after both sides failed to agree on gas prices following the expiration of their contract.

Uzbekistan, Tajikistan's only supplier of gas, routinely suspends gas deliveries to its neighbor amid complaints of nonpayment.

Relations between the two former Soviet Central Asian states have been strained since they both gained independence in 1991.

Uzbekistan has strongly opposed Tajikistan's plans to build hydropower plants, which Tashkent says will limit its water supplies for crop irrigation.

With reporting by