Russia, Ukraine signal no deal over gas price
ZAVIDOVO - Reuters
Russian President Putin (R) and Ukrainian President Yanukovich. REUTERS photoRussian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovich ended talks on March 4 without any sign of a breakthrough to end a standoff over the price of gas to Kiev.
Ukraine, a transit route for more than half of Russian gas shipped to the European Union, wants to pay less for gas from Russia because it says a 2009 deal set an exorbitant price.
Moscow has sought concessions in return, such as Ukraine joining a post-Soviet trade bloc led by Moscow and giving up control of its pipeline network.
The two presidents’ negotiations outside Moscow ended without any statement, and Putin’s spokesman declined to say whether talks would continue.
The dispute between the two former Soviet republics is watched closely in Europe, which receives a quarter of its gas from Russia and as energy supply troubles have underscored Europe’s vulnerability to imports recently.