Ukrainian President Asks Kremlin to Amend Gas Agreement

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko on Thursday urged Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to change an agreement on supplies of Russian natural gas whose terms he said were too onerous for the Ukrainian economy.

In a move that appeared designed to embarrass his political rival, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, as she prepared for gas talks with Moscow, Yushchenko said an existing agreement on gas deliveries to Ukraine needed "urgent revision", Reuters informs.

The Ukrainian prime minister, Yulia V. Tymoshenko, said the increased revenue would be important for the country, which has been hard hit by the financial crisis. Ms. Tymoshenko said Ukraine would insure stable supplies of gas, but her plan, which she presented a day before she is to meet Russia’s prime minister, Vladimir V. Putin, is all but certain to stoke renewed tensions.

Mr. Putin has already warned of possible disruptions in gas for Europe in the coming months. Last January, the dispute between the two countries led to a shutoff of gas for roughly two weeks, New York Times informs.

According to AFP, Russia is ready to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 20 to 25 percent by 2020 from 1990 levels, raising its target from 15 percent just weeks ahead of a UN climate summit, the EU said Wednesday.

"With the Copenhagen conference starting in just over two weeks, we have made very important progress today and I very much welcome the signal from President Medvedev today of their proposed emissions reduction target of 20 to 25 percent," Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, said.

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