KIEV, December 26 (RIA Novosti) - Ukraine will announce its position on the draft protocol to the Russia-Ukraine intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the natural gas sector December 27, Prime Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov said Monday.
"I cannot say we are about to adopt an intergovernmental agreement, but we will discuss the draft protocol to the agreement and inform the mass media," Yekhanurov's press service quoted him as saying.
He said he would inform President Viktor Yushchenko on the Russian-Ukrainian natural gas talks Tuesday.
Under a 2001 agreement for 2003-2013 between Russia and Ukraine, the volumes of Russian gas transit via Ukraine and transit payments should be specified in annual intergovernmental protocols for a specific period.
Russian energy giant Gazprom originally sought to increase the price Ukraine pays for Russian natural gas from the current $50 under a barter agreement to $160 per 1,000 cu m. However, since no agreement has been reached, Gazprom Deputy Chairman Alexander Medvedev said the concern would raise the price to $220-$230 per 1,000 cu m, while CEO Alexei Miller has said
the taps will be closed January 1 if a new agreement is not signed.