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Gazprom buys Kyrgyz gas company for $1

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan, Dec. 12 (UPI) -- The government in Kyrgyzstan, a former Soviet republic, announced its consent to a deal to sell its natural gas company to Russia's Gazprom for $1.

The majority of members in the 120-seat Kyrgyz Parliament backed the deal to hand strategic control over debt-ridden gas company Kyrgyzgaz to Gazprom in exchange for a guaranteed supply of natural gas, Russia's state news company RIA Novosti reported Wednesday.

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Gazprom under the terms of the deal takes over pipelines, gas distribution stations and underground storage facilities owned by the Kyrgyz natural gas company and commits to spending $610 million to modernize the gas transit sector in five years.

Kyrgyz news agency 24.kg reported Gazprom aims to overhaul at least 720 miles of natural gas pipelines in the former Soviet republic.

The government in Kyrgyzstan maintains the right to engage with investors interested in its gas transportation sector and can buy back the assets if it chooses to do so in 25 years.

Gazprom takes on more than $40 million of debt incurred by Kyrgyzgaz under terms of the deal.

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