April 10, 2009

Russia, Ukraine discuss natural gas talks

Prime ministers from Ukraine and Russia discussed resumption of talks concerning natural gas delivery, an issue affected much of Europe in January.

Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Yulia Tymoshenko discussed the issue along with trade and economic cooperation and the results of a meeting between the countries' energy ministers, Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for Putin's office said, RIA Novosti reported Friday.

This winter, Russia claimed Ukraine was behind on its gas bill and wouldn't negotiate on a 2009 delivery contract. The issue gave rise to Russia's decision to stop delivery, although the pipeline through Ukraine is critical to Europe's natural gas supply.

Since then Ukraine has reached a $3.4 billion agreement with the European Union and several large banks that will aid Ukraine with pipeline and other infrastructure projects related to natural gas delivery.

Reacting to the agreement, Putin said Russia would review its ties to the EU, RIA Novosti reported.