Gazprom hoping to reach Moldova gas supplies deal by Sept. 1

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ST. PETERSBURG, June 13 (RIA Novosti) - Gazprom (RTS: GAZP) said Tuesday it hoped to sign an agreement on supplies of Russian natural gas to Moldova over the next five years by September 1.

"We need to agree by September 1 on prices to ink a five-year agreement on [natural gas] deliveries to Moldova," said Alexander Ryazanov, deputy head of the Russian natural gas monopoly.

As part of Gazprom's attempt to raise natural gas prices for former Soviet countries to market levels, the energy giant said earlier last week it was seeking to increase the price for Moldova from $110 per 1,000 cubic meters in 2Q06 and then to about $160 in the second half of the year.

Ryazanov added that Gazprom would continue talks with Moldova on prices for the third and fourth quarters next week.

Gazprom's price formula for the former Soviet Union led to a spat with neighboring Ukraine and a suspension of gas supplies in January, but a deal was soon clinched and supplies resumed.

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