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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Niyazov Draws Russia Into Talks With Kiev

Turkmenistan's President told Ukrainian officials that a long-term deal on Turkmen natural gas exports to Ukraine should be discussed with Russia, a transit country, the state television reported Thursday.

President Saparmurat Niyazov said he was ready to negotiate a 25-year contract for the natural gas deliveries, but added that could be done only in trilateral talks also involving Russia.

"How can we sign it without Russia?" Niyazov said during Wednesday's meeting with Ukraine's fuel and energy minister and the head of its national oil and gas company broadcasted by the state television.

"The pipeline goes through Russia. We must sit down together and find a solution."

Ukraine relies heavily on gas from Turkmenistan and Russia, and has been involved in disputes with both countries over supplies and payment.

Other Central Asian nations such as Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan are also using the Russian natural gas pipeline for their deliveries.

Under an agreement between two countries, Turkmenistan is to supply Ukraine with 36 billion cubic meters of gas in 2005.

The price is $58 per 1,000 cubic meters in the first six months, half of which was supposed to be paid in kind, and $44 per 1,000 cubic meters -- in cash -- starting July 1.