Uzbekistan cuts gas supplies to Tajikistan over unpaid debt

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Moscow, Apr 8 (UNI) Uzbekistan has begun cutting gas supplies to Tajikistan over unpaid debts.

''Tajikistan's gas debt is seven million dollar. Repeated requests to repay it have brought no result, so we have begun to reduce supply in stages,'' a source in state-controlled Uztransgaz said.

Supply has been slashed from two million cubic meters per day to 1.3 million cubic meters, the source told Interfax news agency.

During the talks yesterday with the senior-level officials of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan refused to increase gas supply before the redemption of the debt.

''It was the same in January. We have been forced to resort to extreme measures. Only after that, our partners start paying,'' the source said.

Under a bilateral gas agreement for 2008, Uzbekistan is to supply Tajikistan 650 million cubic meters of gas at 145 dollar per 1,000 cubic meter. Last year the price was 100 dollar per 1,000 cubic meter.

UNI XC SLD RK1450

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