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Gazprom, Ukraine in talks on raising Europe gas flows

OAO Gazprom, the sole Russian exporter of natural gas, is in talks with Ukraine on boosting shipments of the fuel to western Europe via Ukraine's pipeline network, a year after cutting supplies over a price dispute.

Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller met with Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuri Boyko in Moscow today to discuss raising transit volumes to Europe next year, the state-run company said in an e-mailed statement today. No other details were provided. Gazprom supplies a quarter of Europe's gas, about 80% of which is shipped across Ukraine. It curbed deliveries in January after Ukraine rejected a threefold rise in prices, leading to shortages in countries including Germany and Italy. Ukraine has already agreed on the price for 2007 gas deliveries - $130 per 1,000 cubic meters, a third more than it eventually agreed to pay this year. Gazprom's stock advanced 0.6 percent to $11.57 at 2:30 p.m. in Moscow, valuing the company at $273.8 billion. (Bloomberg)