Yesterday Gazprom, the Russian gas company, announced that natural gas producers in Central Asia intend to raise export prices  to "European" levels  in 2009. It can complicate tense energy negotiations between Kyiv and Moscow and lead to higher prices for European consumers.

Gazprom chief executive Alexey Miller announced that after meeting with energy executives from Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Ukraine can face a fourth stiff price increase on gas in as many years. European consumers can also face higher prices. Gazprom said the Central Asian producers had told it that "starting from 2009 natural gas will be sold at European prices".

Gazprom representative Sergey Kupriyanov refused to comment on whether Gazprom had agreed to the producers' demands.


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