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Ukraine may raise Russian gas transit rates - security official

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Ukraine may push for higher transit rates for Russian natural gas supplies to Europe, a deputy secretary of the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council said Monday.
KIEV, August 6 (RIA Novosti) - Ukraine may push for higher transit rates for Russian natural gas supplies to Europe, a deputy secretary of the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council said Monday.

"I believe the issue of reviewing gas transit rates can and must be raised now," Yuriy Prodan said. "After a statement made today that gas prices for Ukraine will increase by 10%, transit terms must also be reviewed," he said.

Prodan said the gas supply scheme did not satisfy Ukraine, but that gas supply terms were fixed in an inter-governmental agreement until the end of 2007.

"However, it is necessary to start immediately negotiations on changing this scheme for the future."

In January 2006, Russia and Ukraine signed a gas deal under which Ukraine paid $95 per 1,000 cubic meters of a mixture of gas from Russia and Turkmenistan. The formula was based on a rate of $230 for Russian gas and $60 for the Central Asian republic's gas.

In 2007, Ukraine started to pay $130 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas due to higher gas prices charged by Turkmenistan. The government of Ukraine expects that Russian gas prices will rise by no more than 10% in 2008. Talks on Russian gas prices for Ukraine are expected to be held in October.

Ukraine currently charges $1.6 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas per 100 km as transit payment for Russian natural gas supplies to Europe.

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