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Georgian PM Calls Planned Russian Gas Price Hike 'Political'


Georgia's prime minister has expressed regret at Russia's plan to raise natural gas prices, and he has called on Moscow to help resolve the situation in his country's breakaway region of South Ossetia.

Prime Minister Zurab Nogaideli said Russia plans to increase gas prices from $60 per 1,000 cubic meters to $110. He called the move "political."

He spoke Friday in Moscow, where he is attending a meeting of the 12-nation Commonwealth of Independent States.

Mr. Nogaideli also called on Russia to help demilitarize South Ossetia, saying armaments there were brought in from Russia and should be returned there. South Ossetia declared independence in the 1990s and maintains close ties with Russia. He said he discussed the issue Friday with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Russian news agencies say Mr. Lavrov called for the release of three Russian soldiers detained in Georgia earlier this week on visa violations.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.

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