Ukrainian officials confident of reaching new gas deal with Russia

10:39, April 08, 2010      

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Ukrainian high-ranking officials expressed confidence on Wednesday that a new deal on prices of Russian natural gas imports would be reached soon.

"We will achieve a revision of the gas agreement with Russia", Prime Minister MykolaAzarov told a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

On the same day, First Deputy Prime Minister Andriy Klyuev said Ukraine could find a consensus soon with the Russian leadership on lowering the price of gas.

"As soon as we have a new price for Russian gas, we will send the draft budget to parliament," Klyuev told reporters.

The price of Russian gas imports is a major drag on Ukraine's economy which was hit hard by the global downturn. The new leadership of President Viktor Yanukovych is asking Moscow to agree with a cheaper gas supplies price.

Yanukovych and Azarov have held talks with Russian leaders on the issue recently and, as an enticement for a softer deal on prices, are holding out the prospect of a role for Russia in modernizing Ukraine's pipeline system.

Under the 2009 agreement, Ukraine pays for its gas on a monthly basis, with the bill varying according to consumption.

Ukraine was paying 305 U.S. dollars per 1,000 cubic meters in the first quarter.

Source: Xinhua


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