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Russia, Ukraine to discuss 2008 energy prices, deals in fall

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Kiev and Moscow will negotiate energy supplies for 2008 and the possibility of gas cooperation deals in the fall, Ukrainian and Russian energy officials said Thursday.
KIEV/MOSCOW, May 17 (RIA Novosti) - Kiev and Moscow will negotiate energy supplies for 2008 and the possibility of gas cooperation deals in the fall, Ukrainian and Russian energy officials said Thursday.

In late October 2006, the two countries signed a gas deal for this year to supply 55 billion cubic meters of Central Asian gas from Russia to Ukraine at a price of $130 per 1,000 cubic meters. The supplies are expected to cover the country's gas needs in full.

The chairman of the Russian lower house's committee for energy, Valery Yazev, said gas prices were linked to oil. "Today oil prices have stabilized at $65 per barrel," he said. "We can therefore expect some adjustments, but I don't see any serious reasons for dramatic changes."

"Negotiations with the Russian Federation could be divided into two parts - talks on gas supplies and the price, and on assets," Yuriy Boiko, Ukraine's energy minister, said in a reference to the mulled possibility of Ukraine developing Russian gas fields.

The idea of Ukraine's involvement in Russian gas projects in exchange for access to the long-desired Ukrainian gas pipelines leading to Europe was first proposed by Ukraine following a bilateral gas dispute early last year, which caused a brief shortfall in European supplies.

Boiko, who was appointed energy minister along with Viktor Yanukovych's return to premiership last August, said discussions between the Ukrainian and Russian premiers had been suspended over the ongoing political crisis in Ukraine caused by confrontation between pro-presidential forces and the premier-led coalition in parliament in late March.

Russia's Yazev said possible cooperation in developing gas fields would be discussed at the planned talks in the fall.

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