Quota On Ukrainian Pipe Exports To Russia To Come Into Force On May 1

The quota on Ukrainian pipe exports to Russia will come into force on May 1. By the end of the year Ukraine will have exported 323,000 tons of pipes to Russia. The decision was the result of long and complicated negotiations between the Russian and Ukrainian Prime Ministers. The talks ended well after midnight instead of lasting several hours, as it had been scheduled. According to Russian statistics, the first months of the year have showed a 21%-rise in Russian pipe production year-on-year. In 1997 the pipe output in Russia totalled 3,476,000 tons, while already in 2000 - 4,648,000. At the same time, Russian pipe exports are increasing. In 2000 they amounted to 649,000 tons, which is twice as much as in 1997, when only 287,000 tons were exported. Economic relations between Russia and Ukraine are of a very complicated character. The main reason for the differences is the constantly practised plundering of Russian gas by Ukraine, which is transported to Western Europe via Ukrainian territories. President Leonid Kuchma did not try to hide the fact, and acting Prime Minister Victor Yushchenko said that Ukraine was not going to pay Moscow for the plundered fuel. As a matter of fact, Ukraine often shows disregard to a lot of important economic agreements, achieved in complex talks with Russia.

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