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KIEV, February 20 (Itar-Tass) —— The Russian Energy Ministry has given a new draft gas agreement to Ukraine, State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin said.
“Gas negotiations are going quite actively and the latest round of talks at the level of energy ministers took place in January. The Russian Energy Ministry gave a new draft agreement to Ukraine today,” Naryshkin said on Monday, February 20.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov believes that a solution to the gas issue with Russia should be found as soon as possible.
Having called the gas area “very sensitive”, the prime minister noted that Ukraine “is exerting considerable effort to find a mutually acceptable and mutually advantageous solution”.
“But I cannot but mention that our industrialists currently pay 560 U.S. dollars for gas. This is a record high price. No other country in Europe pays such a price,” Azarov said at a meeting with Russian State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin on Monday, February 20.
“I think the solution should be found as soon as possible,” he added.
On February 17, Russian Ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov said that he had received a letter from the Russian Energy Ministry that he would forward to the leadership of the Ukrainian Ministry of Energy and Coal Industry shortly. It called for resuming the gas talks.
Further gas talks between Ukraine and Russia act a brake on the development of bilateral relations, Andrei Goncharuk, head of the Department of International Relations in the administration of the Ukrainian president, said. But he thinks that the delay in the talks will not cause relations between Russia and Ukraine to worsen.
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich said earlier that the two countries would find a compromise by all means. "We have been negotiating for two years. We, both Russia and Ukraine, understand that we are destined to make the decision and find a compromise," he said.
Ukraine continues to insist on a revision of the gas agreements with Russia.
On January 19, 2009, Russia and Ukraine made 10-year contracts until 2020 for the transit of Russian natural gas to Europe through Ukraine and for gas supplies to Ukraine on the basis of the European pricing formula. On January 1, 2010, the sides switched to market gas prices.
In the first quarter of 2012, the price of Russian gas for Ukraine is 416 U.S. dollars per 1,000 cubic metres and will be 418 U.S. dollars in the second and third quarters of the year and 413 U.S. dollars in the fourth quarter.
The average annual price will be 415,77 U.S. dollars per 1,000 cubic metres. The Ukrainian budget is based on the gas price of 416 U.S. dollars.