Uzbekistan turns down Kyrgyzstan's request to reduce the gas tariffs
President of Kyrgyzstan Kurmanbek Bakiyev dispatched Igor Chudinov of KyrgyzGas and Saparbek Balkibekov of Kyrgyz Power Plants to Tashkent, Uzbekistan, to discuss gas tariffs, on October 26.
These days, gas imported from Uzbekistan costs Kyrgyzstan $55 only. Uzbekistan upped tariffs to $100 as of next year and Bakiyev's emissaries went to Tashkent to try and persuade it to reduce future tariffs.
24.KG news agency reports that Chudinov and Balkibekov failed in their mission. The Uzbeks flatly refused to discuss the matter.
Uzbek gas is a strategic fuel for heat power plants of Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan where 20% of the total population of the country reside. As a matter of fact, gas deliveries have already been used as an argument in Uzbek-Kyrgyz negotiations. Kyrgyzstan even tried a conversion to electricity but found it more expensive than even new tariffs would be.