26 Jan 2023 12:02

Uzbekistan plans to start importing Russian gas as of March 1 - republic's energy ministry

TASHKENT. Jan 26 (Interfax) - Uzbekistan plans to start importing Russian gas as of March 1, the republic's Energy Ministry told Interfax.

"We plan to start importing natural gas from Russia to Uzbekistan as of March 1, 2023," the ministry's representative said.

According to the representative, the established working group is currently studying the condition and technical capabilities of the gas transmission infrastructure for supplies.

There were previous reports that Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller and Uzbekistan's Energy Minister Zhurabek Mirzamakhmudov held a working meeting on January 24, during which the parties considered current and promising matters for interaction, and Miller and Mirzamakhmudov also signed a road map on cooperating in the gas industry.

Uzbekistan's Energy Ministry reported the previous day that the country was considering matters for gas supplies as part of the afore-said road map, while there were no negotiations on transferring the gas transmission system to Gazprom.

"Negotiations and the adopted road map are aimed at supplying natural gas to the domestic market at the required volumes, while fully retaining ownership of the existing gas transmission system of the Republic of Uzbekistan. In this case, there is no threat to either the gas transportation system or our sovereignty," the ministry said.

The leaders of Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan are discussing possibly boosting Russian gas supplies to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, taking into account growth in domestic consumption and export obligations to China. This could require upgrading the gas transmission infrastructure in order to supply gas, and could even require constructing new gas pipelines. It would be necessary to invest around 260 billion rubles to develop the gas transportation infrastructure specifically in Russia.

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