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Gas derrick near the Ukrainian city of Poltava (file photo) (epa)
25 January 2006 -- Ukrainian Prime Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov today said that a formal gas agreement with Russia will not, as scheduled, be signed today.
The deal was initially due to be signed on 21 January.
Yekhanurov said experts from both countries are still working on the terms of the agreement and that talks with the Russian gas monopoly Gazprom will continue today.
The agreement has drawn much criticism in Ukraine, where lawmakers on 10 January passed a nonbinding resolution calling on the entire cabinet to resign.
President Viktor Yushchenko has defended the deal, under which Ukraine agreed to be charged almost twice as much as it currently pays for Russian gas supplies.
(Ukrayinska Pravda, ForUM, ITAR-TASS)