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Ukraine settles gas debts in line with agreements

Ukrainian consumers are settling debts for supplies of Russian natural gas in line with agreements, Russian energy giant Gazprom said Monday.

Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller met Monday with Ukrainian Fuel and Energy Minister Yuriy Boiko, after Gazprom agreed with Ukraine two weeks ago on settling the country’s gas debt following a week-long dispute. “The sides discussed the question of [natural] gas supplies and concluded that as of today the debts would be settled for gas deliveries to Ukraine in line with earlier reached agreements,” the company said in a statement. In early October, Gazprom threatened to cut gas supplies to Ukraine if the country failed to pay off its debt in October. The company and Kiev have since moved to allay European concerns over Russian gas supplies via Ukraine, which were affected in early 2006 during a bitter price dispute between the former Soviet allies.

Gazprom meets about 25% of the European Union’s gas needs. The majority of Russian exports are transited via Ukraine. Ukraine currently pays $130 per 1,000 cubic meters for gas pumped from and via Russia. In 2008, the price is expected to appreciate further to $143-$180. (