Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yanukovych on Saturday held an informal meeting to discuss ways to settle the long-running deadlock over contracted terms for Russian gas sold to Ukraine.
Yanukovych met with Medvedev at the Russian president's personal residence Zavidovo outside the Russian capital. The meeting was closed for journalists. The both politicians said they were ready to take steps to appease the energy dispute.
Ukraine believes that the fair price for the purchases of Russian natural gas should be standing at $230 per 1,000 cubic meters, Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuriy Boyko told country's TV channel Inter earlier on Saturday.
The minister said Ukraine pays $355 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas during the third quarter of this year and the price is expected to rise to some $400 in the fourth quarter.
Ukraine, Boyko said, is currently buying the Russian gas at a higher price comparing to other European countries and the figure of $230 was calculated in line with the price that Germany pays Russia, minus transit fees across the Ukrainian territory.
The 10-year gas export contract with Russia, signed in 2009, ties the price for gas to oil prices, which have been rising recently boosting Ukraine's bill. Former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko is now on trial for signing the deal, and Kiev is at pains to revise it.
Ukraine transits around 80% of Russia's Europe-bound gas. Russia, which supplies around one fifth of Europe's gas, briefly shut down supplies via Ukraine's pipeline system at the start of 2009 during a dispute with Kiev over unpaid debt.