Russia has proposed to Ukraine the joint development of hydrocarbon fields in both countries on the basis of equitable asset swaps, the Russian prime minister said on Wednesday after bilateral talks.
“Our proposals to Ukraine concern not only transit operations, but also the joint development of hydrocarbons deposits in both countries, with a commensurate swapping of assets,” Viktor Zubkov said. The prime ministers of Russia and Ukraine confirmed the natural gas commitments made by their respective presidents. Following talks with his Ukrainian counterpart, Yulia Tymoshenko, Zubkov said: “We have reaffirmed our rigorous compliance with the commitments made by our presidents in this field.” He also there were good prospects for Russian-Ukrainian cooperation in the nuclear sphere and in power engineering.
Trade turnover between the two former Soviet republics increased 22% to just under $30 billion in 2007. Imports from Ukraine, mostly foodstuffs and agricultural products, grew almost 40%, while Russian exports grew 9% in the same period.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yushchenko agreed on a plan to settle Ukraine’s $1.5 billion debt for Russian gas deliveries during a last ditch meeting on February 12. An agreement was also reached to cut out intermediaries and establish direct fuel supplies between Gazprom and Naftogaz. (rian.ru)