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Turkmenistan is ready to start negotiations in 2006 to increase the price of natural gas supplied to Russia from $44 to $50 per thousand cubic meters
Turkmenistan is ready to start negotiations in 2006 to increase the price of natural gas supplied to Russia from $44 to $50 per thousand cubic meters, Turkmen President Sapamurat Niyazov said Thursday. "At present, we supply natural gas to Russia for $44 per thousand cubic meters and we are going to do so in the future," he said during a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in the capital of Turkmenistan. "But the prices are increasing and we have an agreement on supplies for the next 25 years with the current annual supply rate of 5 billion cu m." With the present increase in prices for metals and other materials, we could raise natural gas prices up to $50 per thousand cu m, Niyazov said. "I proposed constructing a gas pipeline along the coast of the Caspian Sea to transport up to 30 billion cu m of natural gas with 50% of Turkmen supplies and 50% of Russian supplies," he said. "A pipeline of this capacity is considered small, but it has great political significance." Niyazov also said the level of cooperation between Turkmenistan and Ukraine in the natural gas sphere "will be determined with Russia's participation." Lavrov said Russia was satisfied with its relationship with Turkmenistan. "We want to establish stable trade and economic ties and develop cooperation in the natural gas sphere," he said, adding that both countries had already concluded several investment agreements in this area. Lavrov also expressed satisfaction with the development of dialogue on the Caspian Sea dispute. "Our positions are getting closer together," he said, noting that Russia wants a speedy solution. A key issue is the status of the Caspian Sea and the establishment of the water boundaries between the five littoral countries. Russia, Azerbaijan and Kazahkstan signed an agreement in 2003 to divide the northern 64% of the sea between themselves, although the other two bordering countries, Iran and Turkmenistan, did not agree on the proposal. Niyazov said Turkmen authorities thought the establishment of a 25-mile division boundary as a solution.
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