Turkmenistan: gevernment demands Russia to accept price hike

Turkmen Energy Minister Kurbanmurad Atayev said that the energy-rich Central Asian state intends to increase gas prices from the current US$65 ( Ђ 52) per 1,000 cubic meters to US$100 starting next month and warned it would cut exports if Gazprom doesn't accept the new price.

Turkmenistan is the second-biggest gas producer in the former Soviet Union after Russia, and its vast gas resources are playing an increasingly important role in the geopolitics of the region. Gazprom controls the only transit route for Turkmen gas exports to other ex-Soviet states and Europe.

A gas price dispute between Russia and Ukraine resulted in Russian gas supplies being shut off to Ukraine over New Year's, leading to shortages in several European countries.

Eventually, Russia and Ukraine agreed on a complicated but face-saving scheme whereby Ukraine would buy a blend of Russian and Turkmen gas at double the previous price via an intermediary, according to the AP.