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Ukraine, Russia discuss natural gas prices

March 26, 2010 at 9:25 PM

MOSCOW, March 26 (UPI) -- Ukraine and Russia have agreed to compromise on natural gas prices, their two prime ministers said Friday.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov visited Moscow to discuss the long-term agreement his predecessor, Yulia Tymoshenko, signed with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, RIA Novosti reported. Earlier this year Russian officials said Ukraine would have to pay market prices for gas, set at $305 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas for the first quarter, going up to $325 in the second quarter.

Azarov met Thursday with Alexei Miller, CEO of Gazprom, followed by a meeting with Putin.

"An important result of the meeting is that Russia has agreed to start talks on this subject," Azarov said Friday at a news conference. "It would be very naive to think that one meeting has resolved a whole host of issues after five years of such an absurd policy towards Russia."

Putin said the two "had found a compromise." Azarov reportedly agreed to give Russia a share in state-owned gas pipelines, which carry about 80 percent of the gas Russia exports to Europe.

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