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Gazprom Gives Short Thrift to Ukraine Price Reduction Hopes

Gazprom poured cold water on Monday on Ukraine's hopes for lower gas prices and for gradual payments of its $1.3 billion in gas debts, saying it had not reached any new agreement with Russia's western neighbor.

"We do not have any documents on gradual payments for Ukraine," Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov said. "The gas price for Ukraine remains the same, as stipulated in our contract."

Russian gas exports to Ukraine resumed last Friday after a one-week delay. Ukrainian Energy Minister Eduard Stavytsky said that a compromise had been reached on a new debt-repayment schedule, local media reported Monday.

Ukraine pays Gazprom about $400 per 1,000 tons, one of the highest prices in Europe. Kiev calls the price exorbitant for its debt-laden economy.

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