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    Ukrainian PM asks govt to study Gazprom's Europe gas contracts

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    Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov instructed the Energy Ministry on Thursday to study Gazprom's gas supply contracts with Europe to prove that the existing gas deal with Russia is disadvantageous for the ex-Soviet republic.

    Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov instructed the Energy Ministry on Thursday to study Gazprom's gas supply contracts with Europe to prove that the existing gas deal with Russia is disadvantageous for the ex-Soviet republic.

    "I am instructing the Energy and Coal Ministry, our negotiating team to carefully analyze Gazprom's similar deals with other countries to prove that the contract terms for Ukraine are the worst and do not comply with market pricing," Azarov told a government meeting.

    Kiev's trump card in gas deal revision talks with Russia is the force of argument, the premier said.

    "The arguments should be forcible and indisputable," Azarov said, adding that the issue of a fair gas price was the basis for the stable development of the Ukrainian economy.

    Ukraine, which is heavily dependent on Russian energy supplies, is seeking to revise a 2009 gas supply contract signed by former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. The current leadership claims the contract's gas pricing formula, which links the price for gas with the international oil price, is unfair and has forced Kiev to overpay since oil prices have risen strongly.

    Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin claimed on Tuesday during talks with Azarov in Moscow that Russia's price formula for gas is universal for all countries and Ukraine "is no exception."

    Ukraine is paying $295.6 per 1,000 cubic meters of Russian gas in the second quarter if 2011 and is expected to pay $350 in the third quarter.

    KIEV, June 9 (RIA Novosti) 

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