Uzbekistan is willing to accept staggered payments from Kyrgyzstan in lieu of a gas debt totaling $14.5 million.
Ilyas Davydov, the Kyrgyz energy minister, said $4.2 million was transferred to Uztransgaz on October 29. A further $6.3 million will be paid in mid-November, and the remainder of the debt will be fully cleared "over the next months," the 24.kg news agency quoted him as saying on October 30.
Uzbekistan cut off gas supplies to southern Kyrgyzstan in early October after the state ran up a bill of $19 million. Supplies were restored on October 15 after Kyrgyzstan paid $4.5 million.
Under a new agreement, Kyrgyzstan will pay for gas from Uzbekistan in advance every 10 days. Bishkek maintains that Uzbekistan is charging too much for gas at $240 per thousand cubic meters. Negotiations are ongoing to secure a lower rate in 2010.
Meanwhile, Kazakhstan has agreed to pay Kyrgyzstan $18.4 million in advance for electricity exports to be delivered before November 10.
Davydov said the money will be used to buy solid fuel for Bishkek's power plant, an aging unit supplying central heating to most homes and businesses in the city.