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Moscow, Kiev to create working group to revise gas deal - Azarov

© RIA Novosti . Alexey Druzhinin / Go to the photo bankUkrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov
Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov - Sputnik International
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Russia has agreed to create a working group with Ukraine to revise contracts on gas supplies, Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said on Thursday.

Russia has agreed to create a working group with Ukraine to revise contracts on gas supplies, Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said on Thursday.

"Such a working group will be created," Azarov said on national TV.

Ukraine has long asked Russia to reconsider the gas pricing formula and the issue was discussed at talks between Azarov and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Wednesday.

Putin said after the talks that no agreement had been reached but discussions would continue. He predicted that a mutually acceptable solution would be found.

Earlier on Thursday Azarov said Ukraine would pay roughly $230-235 for 1,000 cubic meters of Russian gas in the first quarter of 2011, but on television he merely expressed the hope that a deal would be reached.

"Currently we have the main thing for this optimism - a good political framework," Azarov said. "There is trust between the leaders, the presidents, between the governments and an understanding that the problem should be solved based on the principles of mutual benefit."

Ukraine's national energy company Naftogaz was given a 30-percent discount for Russian gas in April when the Ukrainian government agreed to extend Russia's lease on a naval base in Crimea until at least 2042.

Ukraine paid $305 for 1,000 cubic meters of Russian gas in the first quarter of 2010, $236 in the second quarter and $248 in the third quarter.

The Ukrainian Energy Ministry predicted in early October that the price for Russian gas supplied to Ukraine would stand at $245-270 for 1,000 cubic meters in the first quarter of 2011.

Gazrpom Deputy Chairman Valery Golubev has said the gas price in the first quarter of 2011 would remain at the level of this year's fourth quarter, which he put at $250.

KIEV, October 28 (RIA Novosti)

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