Russia-Ukraine skirmish over gas price

Russia’s energy giant, Gazprom is holding tense talks with Ukraine about the price it will charge for gas. After years of subsidies, the company now wants Ukraine to pay full market prices from 2011.

The market price is estimated at around $US 300 per thousand cubic metres next year.

But it will let Ukraine pay $US 160 per thousand cubic metres next year, if it agrees to pay market price by 2011.

“So far, no agreement has been reached. Our position consists of the fact that we should see perspective from 2011. Dependent on what pattern of price growth, or a price formula, is created for Ukraine in the next few years Russia will form the price for 2008. We still have differences with our Ukrainian partners on this issue, but we continue talks with them,” said Sergey Kuprianov, Gazprom's press secretary.