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Ukraine president suspects PM of corruption

      RBC, 20.01.2009, Kiev 14:57:34.The new gas supply contract signed by prime ministers of Russia and Ukraine Vladimir Putin and Yulia Timoshenko raise many questions, the presidential press office cited head of the Ukrainian presidential secretariat Viktor Baloga as saying. Baloga specifically pointed to the fact that no exact gas price for Ukraine had been disclosed. That the prime minister should conceal the price for Russian gas raises suspicions of corruption, as the two days Timoshenko requested to determine the gas price gave her enough room for price manipulations, Baloga observed.

      Baloga referred to the level of $450 per 1,000 cubic meters as an unacceptable price for Ukrainian consumers. If the government is guided by the figure, Ukraine cannot get gas cheaper than $360. Just a few weeks ago, however, on January 1, the PM admitted the price of $201 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas was economically expedient in a joint statement with the president. The considerable difference between the two figures is the basis for suspicions of corruption in gas accords with Russia.

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