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Russia and CIS
Gazprom ups Ukraine bypass pressure
Slovak government officials came out in favour of Russia's proposed 25-30bn [m.sup.3]/yr Ukrainian bypass pipeline during talks in Moscow this week (FSUE, 18 August, p8). Gazprom board member Yuri Komarov last week flew to Paris to take part in Gazprom-initiated negotiations on the line -- which would run through Belarus, Poland and Slovakia -- with representatives of the leading European gas companies -- Ruhrgas, Wintershall, Gaz de France and Italy's Eni. Gazprom is offering to set up a consortium for implementation of the $1 bn project. All participants in the meeting have refused to comment on negotiations, but Gazprom needs the support of its west European partners to win over Poland. Russian vice-premier Viktor Khristenko claims to have reached an agreement in principle with the Polish government. Poland has repeatedly deferred a final decision and promised to protect Ukraine's interests.
Itera agrees on Turkmen deliveries
Turkmen president Saparmurat Niyazov has agreed with Igor Makarov, head of Russian gas firm Itera, on delivery this year of an extra 10bn [m.sup.3] of Turkmen gas to Russia. Last December, Gazprom and Itera agreed to take 20bn [m.sup.3] this year with the option for an extra 10bn [m.sup.3]. Turkmenistan has already delivered 18bn [m.sup.3] to Russia. Under the latest deal, Russia will pay $38/'000[m.sup.3], an increase on last year's $36/'000[m.sup.3]. Around 60pc of deliveries will be paid for with goods and services and the rest in hard currency. Item says this "additional gas" may be sold to Ukraine, which could face a fuel deficit this winter. Gazprom chairman Rem Vyakhirev will visit Turkmen capital Ashgabat …