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Putin says Russia strives to conclude gas transit agreement with Ukraine

The terms of agreement should be mutually acceptable, the Russian president noted

ST. PETERSBURG, December 20. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin assured that Moscow will strive to conclude an agreement on gas transit with Ukraine.

"We will strive to do it, but they [the terms of agreement] should be mutually acceptable, and not create risks for both sides," Putin said.

On Friday, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Anton Siluanov meets with the leader of the Ukrainian party Opposition Platform - For Life Viktor Medvedchuk in St. Petersburg. Putin joined the talks.

During the meeting, the parties talked about gas problems between Russia and Ukraine. Putin noted that an agreement on gas transit has not yet been concluded.

"Today there are serious problems - the [Ukrainian] budget revenue received up to $3 bln from transit [of Russian gas], this year around 87 bln cubic meters were transported. Next year, taking into account contract and limited transit opportunities, there will be a challenge - to make a decision so that it meets the interests of Ukraine," Medvedchuk said. At the same time, he emphasized that agreements between Russia and Ukraine are needed.

Gazprom will continue negotiations with Ukraine on gas issues on Friday in Minsk after consultations in Berlin, the company told reporters. The company noted that talks will be "not technical." "The level [of representation] will be high. From Gazprom - head [Alexey] Miller," the company added.

Trilateral talks on gas were held between Russia, the European Union and Ukraine in Berlin on Thursday. The sides agreed on a draft deal on gas at the consultations. At the press conference, they said that the parties plan to coordinate the package deal with the leadership of their respective countries on Friday.

The details of the draft agreement were not made public. However, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said that the sides discussed specific volumes and terms of the contract on Russian gas transit via Ukraine.