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Ukraine rules out “gas war” with Russia

Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said the country intends to avoid a gas showdown with Russia and played down the risk of energy supply disruptions to Europe. An angry exchange between the two nations prompted fears of a repeated war.

Previous rows between the ex-Soviet neighbours have momentarily stopped deliveries of Russian gas to European customers.

But Azarov played down the risks. “Why should we fight a war with our Russian brothers?” Interfax quoted Azarov as saying on the eve of a fresh round of gas talks with Russia in Moscow. “We are not even talking about it and never will.

“Of course, both of us have economic interests. They have a very good agreement and are holding to it with both hands. And we are telling them that there is also real life. We will reach an agreement,” Azarov added.

Ukraine is heavily-reliant on Russian gas and has been attempting for over a year without much result to persuade Moscow to review a 2009 deal which it says sets an exorbitant price for gas. This quarter will see the country pay US$416/1000m3. Ukraine sees a fairer price at US$250.

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