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Putin, Yushchenko Discuss Gas Deliveries --> Moscow wants to hike gas prices (epa) 7 December 2005 (RFE/RL) -- The presidents of Russia and Ukraine today discussed an ongoing gas dispute between their respective countries over the phone.

The offices of both presidents issued separate statements today saying Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko agreed to continue talks at the level of the relevant ministries.

The Russian statement says Yushchenko tentatively agreed that Russia should liberalize the price of its natural-gas supplies to Ukraine.

Russia is contemplating charging most CIS countries near-European prices for its deliveries as of next year.

Moscow wants to hike the price it is charging Kyiv to $160 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas from the current $50. In return, it says it is ready to pay the full market transit price for the gas it ships to western Europe through Ukraine.

Kyiv has been resisting the change.