Talks on joint gas venture with Russia concluded - Ukrainian PM

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KIEV, February 2 (RIA Novosti) - Talks on establishing a Russian-Ukrainian joint venture to supply natural gas to Ukrainian consumers have been successfully concluded, Ukrainian Prime Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov said Thursday.

The deal to form Ukrgazenergo will be signed by Ukraine's national energy company Naftogaz and RosUkrEnergo, a Swiss-based company that transports Central Asian natural gas to Ukraine via Russia.

RosUkrEnergo is half owned by Russian energy giant Gazprom, and half by Austrian bank Raiffeisen.

"The talks ended at 10:00 this morning, and were a success. The final signing will take place this afternoon, at which point the content of the document will be made public," Yekhanurov said.

The premier declined to give details on specific agreements.

Naftogaz and Gazprom had originally planned to establish the joint venture by February 1, in accordance with an agreement signed on January 4, 2005.

The agreement ended the gas pricing dispute between the two countries, in which Russia briefly cut off supplies to its neighbor.

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