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19

Ukraine's President and Prime Minister Quarrel Over Russian Gas

Ukrainian president Viktor Yushchenko blasted Wednesday Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych's

Ukrainian president Viktor Yushchenko blasted Wednesday Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych's government for its failure to keep the price of Russian natural gas in 2007 at its current level.

Russia and Ukraine signed an agreement October 24 raising the price for natural gas deliveries to Ukraine from $95 per 1,000 cubic meters in 2006 to $130 per 1,000 cubic meters in 2007.

"Ukraine failed to defend the price it paid in 2006 for gas," Yushchenko said, adding that the gas price formula was not transparent and will not allow the Ukrainian side to forecast future changes in gas tariffs.

He also said the increase in gas prices is not accompanied by changes in transit tariffs. The transit rate for natural gas was set at $1.6 per 1,000 cubic meters per 100 kilometers in January 2006, and is valid until 2011.