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Kiev sees compromise with Moscow over gas

KIEV, Ukraine, Oct. 28 (UPI) -- Russia and Ukraine are close to a compromise on a package for natural gas supplies, the Ukrainian prime minister said, though details are yet to emerge.

Kiev is pressing for a better natural gas deal from Russia. Opposition leader and former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko was sentenced to seven years in jail for her role in landing the gas deal still on the books, though critics say the charges were politically motivated.

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Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said, during an interview with Russian radio station Ekho Moskvy, that both sides were working on a "big package" of documents.

"We are at last near to compromises advantageous for our countries," he said of a gas deal. "I would not like to detail the peculiarities of this process now. This compromise is very important for us, and when the documents are signed, I will make public all the details."

He noted, however, that any deal would likely be separate from Ukraine's membership in the Moscow-led Customs Union.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in August said Ukraine could get a better deal if it joined the Moscow-led Customs Union. Kiev said it didn't want to become a full member, however, because it would interfere with free trade deals with the European Union.

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Brussels, however, has criticized Kiev over the Tymoshenko sentencing.

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