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KIEV, December 23, (ITAR-TASS). The latest Ukraine-Russia agreements, reached in Moscow, have settled conflict-causing gas-related issues between the two countries, Ukraine's Vice-Premier Yuri Boiko told the Ukrainian television channel "1+1".
"I hope that the conflict-causing gas-related issues between Ukraine and Russia have been settled until 2019 until the expiry of the gas contracts," he said.
The Vice-Premier pointed out that the gas contracts' supplements, signed last Tuesday concerned only a change of price, not amounts of Russia's gas being purchased by Ukraine. "The gas price will remain unchanged until 2019. However, the contracts, in particular, retains the 'take-or pay' clause that has been in effect since January 2009," Boiko said.
Talks on lowering the gas prices had been going on for a long time but "technicalities-related work was done within a month," Boiko pointed out. He believes that it was the political situation that had prompted the sides to stepping up the dialogue and reaching a compromise from the viewpoint of a revision of the gas price. "It becam understandable of late that it was essential to meet each other halfway," Boiko explained. In so doing, he pointed out that during the latest talks the Ukrainian side had not received "a clear signal" from the Russian delegation on a pattern of cooperation on a consortium on the magement of the gas transportation system of Ukraine.
Earlier, commenting on the results of the Moscow Accorrds, Boiko said that Ukraine would continue to reduce the purchases of Russia's gas. In particular, he said that in 2014 the import of energy resources from Russa would diminish by 10 percent as compared witht that in the current year. "There is no hint that we shall be increasing the purchase of gas. Moreover, next year we shall reduce the import of gas by another 10 percent for the single reason: we have started producing more gas of our own," the Ukrainian Vice-Premier said.
He also pointed out that in the past three years Kiev had cut the purchases of Russian gas by 25 percent. "And we told our partners straigtforwardly that we shall continue to pursue this line," Boiko pointed out, noting that "Russia treated with understanding the intentions of the Ukrainian side to continue to cut down the amounts of gas purchases".
The overall amount of Ukraine's gas purchases abroad is expected to total 27.3 billin cu. m.. In 2012, the amount of gas purchases was 32.9 billion cu. m.