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Russia, Ukraine Set Up Joint Gas Venture

Gazprom CEO Aleksei Miller (R) and Naftohaz CEO Oleksiy Ivchenko end the Russia-Ukraine gas dispute on 4 January (epa) 3 February 2006 -- Russia and Ukraine have set up a joint venture to sell natural gas from Russia and Central Asia to Ukraine.

The creation of the joint venture was a key part of a deal that ended a Russian-Ukrainian dispute over gas prices last month.

The joint venture, UkrGazEnergo, was set up between Ukraine's Naftohaz state energy company and an intermediary company RosUkrEnergo.

The Swiss-registered RosUkrEnergo has been criticized for lack of transparency as it is equally owned by Gazprom, Russia's state-controlled natural gas company and a group of investors whose names have not been made public.

Aleksandr Ryazanov, deputy chairman of Gazprom, was elected to chair the new joint venture's supervisory body.

According to a Naftohaz spokesman, the new joint venture will sell Russian and Central Asian gas to Ukraine at the price of $95 per 1,000 cubic meters over the next five years.

(Ukrayinska pravda, Interfax-Ukraine, ITAR-TASS)

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