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TURKMENISTAN, UZBEKISTAN PLAY ENERGY GAMES WHILE CENTRAL ASIA SHIVERS

The leaders of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan are trying to extract the maximum benefit from their neighbors’ misery. As the people of Central Asia shiver through the harshest winter in generations, Ashgabat and Tashkent are turning the screws, or shutting off the valves altogether, in a bid to obtain a higher price for their natural gas exports.Temperatures of minus 20 degrees Celsius have prevailed this winter throughout Central Asia. The extreme cold has caught governments unprepared, as officials did not stockpile sufficient energy supplies to provide adequate heating and electricity. This flaw presented an opportunity to the leaders of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, two countries who serve as regional suppliers of natural gas. Turkmen leader, Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, and his Uzbek counterpart, Islam Karimov, held telephone negotiations on December 18, during which they agreed to coordinate their pricing strategy. Full Story

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