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Ukraine Reacts to Gas Model

Ukraine won't base its natural gas cooperation with Russia on the "Belarus model," Prime Minister Mykola Azarov told reporters in Kiev on Tuesday.

Ukraine seeks to maintain control of its gas transport system, Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Tigipko said.

Gazprom owns 50 percent of Beltransgaz, Belarus' gas pipeline operator, and is in talks to buy the other half. Russia plans to introduce a discount for natural gas shipments to Belarus starting next year, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Monday.

The negative balance of the bilateral trade between Ukraine and Russia was caused primarily by inflated prices for Russian natural gas, Azarov said.

"Each month we are overpaying substantial sums, which certainly affects the level of our bilateral relations. This is why we are working to review the gas supply conditions. The trade and economic relations must be mutually profitable," he said.

(Bloomberg, Interfax)

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