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Kiev signs gas transit deal, drops earlier conditions - Gazprom

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Ukraine has signed a deal on monitoring Russian natural gas transits to Europe removing its earlier conditions, Russian energy giant Gazprom said on Monday.
MOSCOW, January 12 (RIA Novosti) - Ukraine has signed a deal on monitoring Russian natural gas transits to Europe removing its earlier conditions, Russian energy giant Gazprom said on Monday.

"A Gazprom delegation held talks in Kiev this morning," the company said in a statement. "Ukraine signed the regulations for the monitoring of natural gas transits via Ukraine without any conditions."

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Sunday that a three-party deal to resume Russian gas supplies to the EU via Ukraine was not valid as Kiev had added its own declaration to it. Medvedev described the declaration as "mockery of common sense."

A Russian government official said on Monday that Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin, Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko and senior Gazprom officials, led by CEO Alexei Miller, were going to Brussels for talks on the gas dispute.

Energy ministers from the 27 EU member-states will hold an emergency meeting later on Monday to discuss the crisis over disrupted Russian gas deliveries.

Supplies have been cut off for almost a week as Russia accused Ukraine of siphoning off gas bound for Europe. Moscow said it would restore supplies when the monitoring deal was signed by all the sides and monitors are in place.

The two countries failed to resolve their dispute over payments for Russian gas before New Year, and Russia cut off shipments to Ukraine on January 1, which led within days to a complete halt in gas transit to Europe.

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