Putin Pledges Increased Gas Deliveries to Uzbekistan

Putin Pledges Increased Gas Deliveries to Uzbekistan
Putin Pledges Increased Gas Deliveries to Uzbekistan

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Moscow would sharply increase gas deliveries to Uzbekistan during a visit to the landlocked former Soviet republic.

Putin has met several times with his Central Asian counterpart since Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, as Europe, Turkey and China are also vying for influence in a region Moscow considers in its sphere of influence.

Russia, a major fossil fuel producer, has important energy projects with neighbors in the region as they face energy shortfalls despite having their own gas and oil resources.

During a meeting with Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev in Tashkent, Putin said "work is underway" to increase gas volumes to Uzbekistan to 11 billion cubic meters next year.

"Another priority area, as Shavkat Miromonovich  just mentioned, is nuclear energy production. The protocol signed today on amendments to the relevant intergovernmental agreement of 2018 opens up the opportunity for the construction of low-power nuclear power plants in Uzbekistan using modern Russian technologies, which, I emphasize, meet the most stringent safety and environmental protection requirements," he added.

Launched in 2023, Russia gas deliveries transiting via a pipeline that crosses Kazakhstan, which came online during the Soviet era, are due to reach 3.8 billion cubic meters this year.

"If we talk about trade turnover, we have already achieved a growth of ten billion US dollars, this is 30 percent, this is very good growth. My colleagues and I are working to reach growth of 20 billion US dollars in the near future," said Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Uzbek President.

Hit by Western sanctions, Moscow has had to find new business for its oil and gas.

Russia and Uzbekistan also reiterated their intention to build nuclear power plants with the involvement of Russian firm Rosatom, the two sides said.

Similar discussions are under way with Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.