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Ukraine says Russia ready to cut down prices for natural gas

September 27, 2011, 2:44 UTC+3

Ukraine and Russia reached agreement on cutting down the price of Russian natural gas

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KIEV, September 27 (Itar-Tass) — Saturday, September 24 Ukraine and Russia reached agreement on cutting down the price of Russian natural gas and on a downward revision of the costs of its transits to European countries via the Ukrainian territory, Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov said here Monday in the footsteps of a summit meeting that the Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovich, and the Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev, had last Saturday during Yanukovich's visit to Russia.

"The two sides reached agreement on Ukraine's reduction of the transit fee to the level of prime costs," the Zerkalo Nedeli publication quoted Azarov as saying this at a cabinet meeting.

"Russia on its part will reduce the prices for Ukraine in two spheres -- the budgetary and the social one," he said. "In October, the Ukrainian and Russian experts will draft the necessary documents and the two Presidents will fix the agreements legally when they meet in November."

The Ukrainian President's press office said upon the results of Yanukovich's visit to Russia last Saturday that "considerable progress" had been made at the talks with the Russian side on the supplies of gas to this country and on the Europe-bound transits.

"This gives grounds for a hope that the two countries will achieve concrete results meeting the interest of either country shortly," the press office said in a report.

Earlier Monday, the Ukrainian Prime Minister's Press Secretary, Vitaly Lukyanenko said this country's governemnt had gotten down to practical steps under the agreement.

In the meantime, the CEO of the Russian gas industry giant Gazprom, Alexei Miller, said Monday it is too early to speak about any specific parameters of the agreements yet.

"It's true there's some progress but one can hardly speak about any concrete figures at the moment," he said. "Much rather, one can speak about a joint visioning of approaches to resolution of problems in the gas industry."

"We came to agreement with our Ukrainian counterparts that the next working meeting should be held before the end of this week," Miller said.

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