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Russian and Ukrainian PMs to eschew gas supply issue

      RBC, 20.02.2008, Moscow 09:54:44.The Russian side is not planning to discuss gas supplies at today's Russian-Ukrainian talks as the arrangements for 2008 have already been achieved, and there is no uncertainty about which course Gazprom and Naftogaz of Ukraine are to take, a source in the Russian government said. Today, Russia's Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov is scheduled to meet his Ukrainian counterpart Yulia Timoshenko.

      The source elaborated that the decisions regarding the accrued debt had been reached at the highest level, while any decisions regarding the intermediaries were up to the companies involved. Furthermore, no supplemental gas agreements are under discussion. However, the government does not think a change in intermediaries catering for gas supplies is in its best interests. On the Russian side, it will still be Gazprom or its subsidiaries, the source said.

      However, the PMs are expected to discuss cooperation in oil transportation and transit, specifically the Odessa-Brody pipeline. Russia is looking to Ukraine to comply with a respective intergovernmental agreement, as not all of its conditions have been met so far.

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