About 80 percent of Russian gas destined for Europe is sent via Ukraine and Russia's state-controlled Gazprom gas monopoly has long wanted to acquire control over the Ukrainian transit gas-pipeline system.
The legislation was initiated by the opposition following Russian President Vladimir Putin's remarks last week that Ukraine was ready to set up a joint gas venture with Russia to manage the gas pipelines across its soil.
Supporters of opposition leader Yuliya Tymoshenko briefly blocked parliamentary activity earlier in the day to force a vote on the legislation.
The oil-export terminal at Primorsk, Russia (TASS)
WEALTH AND POWER. At an RFE/RL briefing in Washington on January 24, Freedom House Director of Studies Christopher Walker and RFE/RL regional analyst Daniel Kimmage argued that energy-sector wealth is preventing many former Soviet countries -- Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan -- from developing strong democratic institutions.
LISTENListen to the entire briefing (about 90 minutes):
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