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Moscow Dismisses Rice's Criticism Of Gas Dispute

Moscow has dismissed as "baseless" Condoleeza Rice's criticism of the recent Russia-Ukraine gas dispute (file photo) (RFE/RL) 6 January 2006 -- Russia today dismissed critical comments made by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice over Moscow's recent gas dispute with Kyiv.

Addressing reporters in Washington yesterday, Rice accused Russia of using its gas wealth as a political weapon. She also questioned Moscow's willingness "to behave as a responsible energy supplier" given that it has just assumed the rotating presidency of the Group of Eight most powerful industrial nations.

A Russian Foreign Ministry statement called Rice's comments "baseless" and said her remarks were "met with surprise" in Moscow.

After weeks of bickering over Russia's threats to quadruple the price it was charging Ukraine for its gas supplies, both parties reached a compromise on 3 January.

The leaders of both countries have expressed satisfaction with the agreement.

(RFE/RL with Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

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