Russian-Ukrainian negotiations to settle the issues of Russian gas transit across the territory of Ukraine in 2002 are to be held in Kiev on Monday. Vice-Premier of the Russian government Viktor Khristenko and Gazprom chief Alexei Miller will represent the Russian side at the negotiations. Presumably, a mutually acceptable solution to this problem will be found during these talks, after which the sides will sign a protocol on the transit of Russian gas through via Ukraine and on supplies to Ukraine of the Russian "blue fuel". A source close to the negotiating process has told RIA Novosti that an increase in the gas price to $80 per 1,000 cu m and in the tariff for its transit to $1.75 is the basic position of the Russian side on the question of the transit of Russian gas and its deliveries to Ukraine. Today the cost of gas delivered to Ukraine stands at $50 per 1,000 cu m, and the gas transit cost is $1.09. Furthermore, Russia insists on cash payment for gas deliveries to Ukraine. Russian gas is being now supplied to Ukraine as part of the pay for its transit via Ukraine. This amounts to 30 billion cu m a year, the source said. In 2002 the transit of Russian gas via the territory of Ukraine will amount to 124.5 billion cu m. The bulk of it will be delivered to Europe, and a small part - to southern Russia.
The 23-year-old athlete was returning to the base through the forest after fishing on the Irtysh River. There were two other fishermen with him