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Russia, Ukraine preparing documents to prevent gas cut-off - source

MOSCOW, December 29 (RIA Novosti) - Russian energy giant Gazprom and Ukrainian Naftogaz Co. are preparing documents that would keep Russia from having to cut off gas supplies to Ukraine even if the two countries have not agreed on new prices and transit terms, a source in Russia's Industry and Energy Ministry said Thursday.

"Russia and Ukraine are holding talks on a package of documents to prevent Russian natural gas deliveries to Ukraine from being cut off January 1, 2006," the source said.

With 60 hours to go until the promised cut-off, the countries have failed to resolve their gas dispute.

Ukrainian Fuel and Energy Minister Ivan Plachkov said earlier in the day that Gazprom and Naftogaz experts were preparing documents to be reviewed Friday.

"As soon as the documents are ready, we will hold a meeting with Russian Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko and then make a final decision," Plachkov said.

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