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Ukraine to pay average gas price of $228.8/tcm in 2009 - PM

RIA Novosti

20/01/2009 19:25 KIEV, January 20 (RIA Novosti) - Ukraine's prime minister said on Tuesday that Kiev would pay in 2009 an average gas price of $228.8 per 1,000 cubic meters, excluding VAT and import and transportation tariffs.

"The price, which will be the same throughout the year, starting from January 1, 2009, will be $228.8 per 1,000 cu m," Yulia Tymoshenko said. "This is a very decent price," she added.

Tymoshenko said Ukraine would buy Russian so-called technical gas, needed to transit fuel from Russia to Europe, at $153.9 per 1,000 cu m in 2009.

She also said the transit rate, which is to remain the same, $1.7 per 1,000 cu m for 100 km, was "economically justified", as Russia and Ukraine had agreed on a special price for technical gas.

Following Sunday's talks between the two country's premiers, Russian energy giant Gazprom and Ukrainian energy company Naftogaz signed on Monday a contract on Russian gas supplies to Ukraine for 2009-2019. Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said Ukraine would pay $360 for 1,000 cu m of Russian gas in the first quarter of 2009.

Russia suspended supplies to Ukraine on January 1 after the former Soviet neighbors failed to reach an agreement on a new gas contract for 2009. A week later, Gazprom cut off gas deliveries to the European Union, saying Ukraine was stealing gas intended for EU consumers.

Around 20 European countries were affected by the dispute, with the EU calling the cut in supplies "completely unacceptable."

The European Commission said in a statement on Tuesday that Ukraine had opened all of its pipelines for the transit of Russian gas. Europe is expected to receive 335 billion cubic meters of Russian gas on Tuesday.

Deputy Gazprom CEO Alexander Medvedev said on Tuesday the average 2009 price for Russian gas for Ukraine would be below $250 per 1,000 cu m, and about $280 for European consumers.

Tymoshenko said on Tuesday regarding the deal that, "This is not a framework agreement but a full-fledged contract. This is in essence ten years of quiet life."

She said Ukraine would buy less gas in the first quarter, as it has enough of it in its own storage facilities. Miller said Ukraine would buy 40 billion cu m of gas in 2009, as opposed to 55 billion in 2008.


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