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Russia, Ukraine Hope For Gas Agreement By End Of Year

Yushchenko says he would pay market prices (file photo) (epa) 13 December 2005 -- Russia and Ukraine say they hope to reach an agreement in their gas talks by the end of the year.

Russian Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko yesterday held the latest round of talks on Russian gas deliveries with Ukrainian Fuel and Energy Minister Ivan Plachkov in Moscow. Khristenko's ministry said afterwards both sides were seeking compromise solutions.

Russia and Ukraine are yet to sign an agreement on gas deliveries for next year. The talks have become increasingly strained as Moscow wants to more than triple the price it is charging Kyiv, a change Kyiv is resisting.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko was quoted as saying yesterday that Ukraine is ready to pay for gas explicitly on a market price basis, but that there needed be a "gradual transition period." He said he hoped for a "reciprocal step" from Russia.




Celeste Wallander directs the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and is a CSIS senior fellow. Before joining CSIS, she was senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, D.C., and associate professor of government at Harvard University. She is the founder and executive director of the Program on New Approaches to Russian Security. Her recent projects include work on U.S.-Russian security cooperation, the history of Russia and globalization, HIV/AIDS in Russia, and the 2004 Ukrainian presidential election. Among her books are "Swords And Sustenance: The Economics Of Security In Belarus And Ukraine" and "Mortal Friends, Best Enemies: German-Russian Cooperation After The Cold War." She is currently writing "Global Russia: Economics, Politics, And Security."

On November 29, 2005, she spoke with RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service about Russia's energy policies and how Moscow might be seeking to leverage its influence over its neighbors. Listen to the complete interview.
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To read a transcript of the interview,click here.

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