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Gazprom eyes 30-year contract with Ukraine

MOSCOW, Jan. 26 (UPI) -- Russian gas monopoly Gazprom envisions gas contracts with Ukraine that could extend for 30 years to make sure Europe receives its gas, corporate officials said.

Alexander Medvedev, the deputy chief executive of Gazprom, said long-term contracts would stabilize the European natural gas sector following January disruptions from price rows with Ukraine, RIA Novosti reported Monday.

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Russia cut off the supply of natural gas to Ukraine Jan. 1 following disputes over gas contracts for 2009. The disruption left EU customers without much of their gas supplies as 80 percent of the Russian gas bound for Europe transits through Ukraine.

Ukrainian oil and gas company Naftogaz reached a deal with Gazprom Jan. 20 for gas supplies to 2019. Medvedev told Russian state-owned television station Rossiya, however, he wanted to secure longer contracts with Ukraine.

"We can think of a longer period of 20 to 30 years, similar to other contracts (with other gas consumers)," he said.

The 10-year contract for Ukraine sets a price for gas at $450 per 1,000 cubic meters (35,314.6 cubic feet), but includes a 20-year rate cut for 2009. Ukraine in 2008 paid $179.5 for the same volume.

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