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Russia, Ukraine Reach Deal on Natural Gas Prices, EU Welcomes Agreement


Russia has agreed to resume natural gas supplies to Ukraine, after energy officials from the two countries resolved a pricing dispute that disrupted gas exports to Europe.

The Russian and Ukrainian natural gas companies settled their dispute with a complex pricing deal reached today - Wednesday in Moscow.

Under the five-year agreement, Ukraine will buy gas at a rate of 95 dollars per one-thousand cubic meters, up from the current rate of 50 dollars.

The gas will be supplied to Ukraine by a trading company that imports more expensive gas from Russia, as well as cheaper gas from Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan.

Russia's state-owned gas company, Gazprom, cut off supplies to Ukraine Sunday, when Ukraine refused to accept Russia's demand for a four-fold price increase. The move caused temporary gas shortages in Europe, which relies heavily on Russian
gas.

The European Union welcomed the deal that ended the dispute. But EU officials meeting in Brussels said more talks are needed on preventing future threats to European energy supplies.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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