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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Turkey: Cold snap boosts request for more Russian gas

Moscow, 31 Jan. (AKI) - Hit by unsually harsh cold weather, Turkey has asked Russia to boost its natural gas supplies. Turkish energy minister Hilmi Guler made the request to his Russian counterpart Viktor Khristenko in a telephone conversation, the Russian Ria Novosti newsagency reported on Tuesday quoting a ministry statement. "Additional daily gas supplies to Europe have been increased to 80 million cubic metres, although Russia is dealing with cold weather itself," Khristenko said. Supplies via the Blue Stream pipeline to Turkey were also in excess of normal levels, he said.

"Russia is doing its utmost to ensure [state controlled gas company] Gazprom honours its natural gas supply commitments," Khristenko had said last Friday following talks with Italy's minister of productive activities, Claudio Scajola. Italy was among the European countries worst hit by this month's shortfalls in deliveries of Russian gas.

Russia has blamed Ukraine which was locked in a price dispute with Gazprom of stealing gas transiting through it borders on the way to Western Europe.
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