Weak links in Russia’s petroleum-refinery network and the Kremlin’s power play in Ukraine are shortchanging Central Asian petrol markets, importers complain. With alternatives expensive or unfeasible, and regional refining capacity severely limited, local energy executives are ruing Moscow’s traditional sway over the region’s petrol supply.
Simultaneous repairs at key Siberian refineries that supply Central Asia, along with a major accident in June, have caused a spike in petrol prices in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, all of which source their fuel from Russia.
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Chris Rickleton is a Bishkek-based journalist.