Turkmenistan wants to raise gas price for Russia

Turkmenistan wants to raise the price of the natural gas it sells to Russia, Turkmen President Sapurmurat Niyazov told Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Niyazov said he wanted to raise the price per thousand cubic meters to US$50 as of 2006, and to US$60 per 1,000 cubic meters thereafter.

Russian gas monopoly Gazprom needs long-term supplies of Turkmen gas to ensure that it can meet rising domestic and export demand in future. Turkmenistan struck a 25-year deal with Russia in 2003 at a basic price of US$44 (Ђ37) a thousand cubic meters.

"We are selling gas at US$44, but you are raising your export prices," Niyazov said in reference to the fact that prices on Gazprom's oil-linked export contracts to Western Europe have now breached US$180 (Ђ150) per 1,000 cubic meters, the AP reports.

"We have an agreement until 2007 on prices, but metal prices have gone up, and prices for your pipes - which we are buying - have trebled, so in 2006, give us US$50, not US$44, and give us US$60 for the 25-year deal," Niyazov said.

Niyazov also proposed construction of a gas pipeline along the Caspian Sea shore with a capacity of 30 billion cubic meters. A.M

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Author`s name: Editorial Team