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Ukraine Doesn't Recognize Debt

Kiev won't acknowledge a $7 billion debt claimed by Gazprom as a penalty for Ukraine's failure to take the amount of gas it had agreed to import in 2012.

"As far as I understand, the Ukrainian government refused to recognize the $7 billion [penalty] as Ukraine's sovereign debt while I was on my way," Foreign Minister Leonid Kozhara told Ukrainian journalists in Brussels.

He insisted that Russia and Ukraine, as strategic partners, should address problems in their relations at the negotiating table.

"If they are not resolved there, the gas supply contract with Russia itself envisions other procedures that could be used as well," Kozhara said.

It was reported earlier that Ukraine had cut its natural gas imports by 11.9 billion cubic meters (26.5 percent) to 33 billion cubic meters in 2012.

(MT)

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