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KIEV, January 17 (Itar-Tass) —— Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuri Boiko will on Monday visit Moscow to negotiate a way out of the gas supply deadlock with Russian partners.
The talks on a lower gas price were suspended in December and Ukraine alarmed Russia’s Gazprom by threats to half 2012 imports of gas from contracted 52 billion cubic meters to 27 billion. Gazprom said such a unilateral change to the contract was unacceptable.
Boiko earlier said Ukraine plans to replace Russian gas by domestic coal and gas from Turkey. “The talk is about gas deliveries by a new route. I hope we shall submit concrete proposals by late January and get down to substantiated talks,” he said adding the county plans to switch all power and heat generating facilities from gas to coal which will save close to six billion cubic meters of gas a year.
Experts believe all the announced initiatives aim at one goal – to have the price of Russian gas decreased. This year it comprises close to 416 US dollars per thousand cubic meters.
Russia conditioned the price decrease on access to the management of the Ukrainian gas transportation network. Moscow suggested creating a bilateral consortium in which it will have at least 50 percent of stock. Ukraine wants Europe to join the consortium in which Ukraine will have 34 percent, and Russia and European partners 33 percent each.