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Ukraine, Russia ready for long-term gas contracts

Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and her Russian counterpart Viktor Zubkov said the two countries are ready for long-term gas contracts.

In a dispute over Ukraine's gas debts, Russia's state energy company Gazprom briefly cut supplies to Ukraine in early March, threatening deliveries to the European Union states.

“We have sent the last payment, which completely settles the accumulated debt for Russia's natural gas. Now, Ukraine has completely accounted for its obligations,” Tymoshenko said at the meeting with Zubkov.

Zubkov said settling the debts opened the door for talks on a long-term supply contracts. But, neither side specified the amount of the debt.

Under a supply contract signed earlier this month, Gazprom agreed to sell Ukrainian state energy firm Naftogaz 50 billion cubic meters of gas at the price of $179.5 per 1,000 cubic meters in 2008. (Xinhua)