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Romanian President Basescu says his country is paying the highest gas prices in Europe (file photo) (AFP) 11 January 2006 -- Romania's Economy Minister Codrut Seres today asked prosecutors to review all gas purchase contracts from Russia, following allegations that the country is paying too much.


Seres said in a statement that he wanted prosecutors to review contracts signed by five Romanian companies to buy Russian gas from state-controlled monopoly Gazprom through two intermediaries.


On 10 January, President Traian Basescu said that Romania was paying the highest price for gas in Europe, and warned that interest groups "were surrounding the Economy Ministry."


Seres is a member of the country’s Conservative Party, which is a junior partner in Romania's governing coalition. The party has been at odds with Basescu.


Seres said that Romanian companies would pay a floating rate of up to $285 per 1,000 cubic meters for Russian gas.


Romania imports about 40 percent of its natural gas from Russia, with the other 60 percent produced locally.


(AP)

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