Ukrainian president calls for out of court gas price settlement

Ukraine and Russia should seek a compromise in their dispute over gas prices without taking the matter to court, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych said on Thursday before a meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

“I think it is in our interests, in the interests of both Russia and Ukraine, to find a compromise solution and we will strive for it,” Yanukovych said in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi.

Ukraine’s Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said last week that Kiev was considering taking the matter to a court of law to cancel a bilateral gas contract struck with Russia in 2009.

Ukraine has been seeking a revision in the 2009 gas deal with Russia since last spring, saying that the contract’s gas price formula is unfair. Russia has tied the price for gas to the international spot price for oil, which has been rising strongly until recently due to the instability in the Middle East.

The contract was signed by former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko who is currently on trial charges of abuse of office for concluding the deal on terms disadvantageous to Kiev.

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