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Ukrainian Minister Warns Of Looming Energy Crisis

A natural-gas facility in the Kharkiv region (ITAR-TASS) August 17, 2006 -- Ukraine could be hit by an energy crisis this winter despite Russia's recent pledge to keep gas prices stable until the end of the year, one of Ukraine's deputy prime ministers warned today.

Andriy Klyuyev told the cabinet that the country has a gas deficit of around 8 billion cubic meters and Ukrainian energy companies are under financial strain.

Russia briefly shut gas supplies to Ukraine in January during a price row. Ukraine ended the dispute by agreeing to a twofold increase in Russian gas tariffs.

Ukraine now pays $95 per 1,000 cubic meters instead of $50 previously. On his return from a trip to Moscow, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych said on August 17 that Russia has promised not to change the price this year.

(Reuters, AP, Interfax)

RFE/RL Belarus, Ukraine, And Moldova Report

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