PM to meet with Putin in Moscow today

11:13, 09 October 2007
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And with Russian Prime Minister Victor Zubkov

Prime Minister of Ukraine Victor Yanukovych will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the course of his working visit to Moscow today.

According to the government’s press-service, Victor Yanukovych is also due to meet with Russian Prime Minister Victor Zubkov. They will discuss the course of preparing a session of Yushchenko-Putin international commission.

At his first meeting with Russian Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov in Moscow on Tuesday, Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych will discuss his country`s $1.3 billion gas debt to Gazprom.

Gazprom said last Tuesday it could reduce natural gas supplies to Ukraine in October if the country failed to settle its $1.3 billion debt. The Ukrainian government denied debt accusations saying that was not the government`s debt, and that the sum had been exaggerated. Miller and Boiko agreed on Wednesday that Ukraine would repay its $1.3 billion gas debt by November 1.

A source in the Ukrainian government was quoted by Kommersant as saying that the recent debt issue could have been Gazprom seeking to weaken Ukraine`s position ahead of negotiations regarding 2008 gas prices, or else attempting to gain a larger share of the neighboring gas market.

The gas price for Ukraine rose from $95 to $130 per 1,000 cubic meters in 2007 after a price rise for Turkmen gas Russia re-exports to Ukraine. In 2008, gas could appreciate further to $143-$180.

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