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Russian energy giants in talks with Kabul

MOSCOW, Aug. 23 (UPI) -- Russian energy company Gazprom Neft said it would supply 10,000 tons of diesel fuel to Afghanistan starting next month.

In early August, Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko and Afghan Commerce and Industry Minister Anwarul Haq Ahadi signed a memorandum of understanding on energy cooperation.

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Shmatko said private energy company Lukoil, Gazprom Neft and Anglo-Russian venture TNK-BP all had talks regarding potential energy ties to Afghanistan, the Interfax news agency reports.

Gazprom Neft said it was moving closer to signing a formal contract to deliver as much as 10,000 tons of light diesel fuel to Afghan buyers by September, the report adds.

TNK-BP is one of the largest energy products suppliers to Afghanistan. All of the Russian energy companies involved in the talks said they could increase deliveries by as much as 500,000 tons of oil products.

That represents about 16 percent of Afghanistan's total annual need.

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