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Russia wants to increase gas prices for Slovakia

GAZPROM, the Russian state-owned energy monopoly, wants to increase natural gas prices for Slovakia by 10 percent. If Slovakia’s gas utility, SPP, does not succeed in talking the Russians out of the hike, ordinary Slovaks as well as the country’s economy will feel the impact.

Any increase in gas prices would also complicate the government’s efforts to keep inflation low to meet a criterion for introducing the common European currency as of January 2009.

SPP spokeswoman Dana Kršáková said that SPP is trying to negotiate the best possible prices for consumers.

According to the Pravda daily, the price hike proposal was made after Slovak Economy Minister Ľubomír Jahnátek visited Russia last November. However, following his meeting with Russian officials, the minister did not mention the possibility of higher gas prices.

Instead, he labeled Russia “a stable and reliable partner in the area of energy supplies”.

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