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Ukraine's prime minister wants to review Russian gas deal

KIEV, Ukraine, Nov. 25 (UPI) -- Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said he's eager to review the terms of a natural gas contract with Russian energy company Gazprom.

"We have been persistently trying to persuade the Russian Federation to review the contract," Azarov was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti Sunday.

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Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko helped broker a 2009 natural gas deal with Gazprom that ended a brief impasse over bilateral contracts. The deal prompted Gazprom to reverse a decision to cut off the flow of gas through Ukraine but the terms of the contract placed a heavy financial burden on the country.

In early November, Gazprom said Ukraine had more than $880 million in unsettled debt from its August natural gas bills, sparking fears of another gas spat.

Ukraine purchased no natural gas from Russia Nov. 8-14, relying instead on its underground gas storage.

Tymoshenko was sentenced to seven years in prison in 2011 on corruption charges related to the deal with Gazprom. She said the sentence was politically motivated.

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