Russia wants a "gas union" with Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, Kazakh President Tokayev thinks


Russia is discussing a potential "gas union" with Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan in order to increase gas supplies between the three countries and offer it to other customers, including China, some Russian media reported today, citing a statement by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak.

Novak did not explain what the gas union would mean or what stage the talks are at. Kazakh President Kasim-Jomart Tokaev's spokesman said today that Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed the idea to Tokaev at a meeting on Monday, but he did not provide any details either.

Russia is a major exporter of natural gas, and Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan produce about as much as they consume. Both countries are connected by a gas pipeline to Russia, and a separate gas pipeline passes through both on its way to China.

But the two pipelines mainly draw gas from Turkmenistan, while Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan have never reported transit shipments of Russian gas to China or any other country.

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