Ukrainian, Romanian presidents to meet on new gas sources

Presidents from Ukraine and Romania were to meet for talks Thursday focused on energy security and steps to reduce dependence on Russian natural gas supplies. President Viktor Yushchenko's office said the meeting with Romanian President Traian Basescu was also expected to result in a new commission aimed at boosting cooperation between the neighboring states.

Romania imports about 40 percent of its gas from Russia through Ukraine. Earlier this year, it experienced shortfalls when Moscow turned off the taps to Ukraine during a bitter pricing dispute and last week, it was hit with another shortage when Ukraine used record amounts of gas during a cold snap.

Ukraine's price dispute with Moscow led to a new deal for Kiev for a mix of gas priced at US$95 (Ђ78) per 1,000 cubic meters, prompting Romania to complain about the higher prices it pays.

Romanian companies pay a floating rate of up to US$285 (Ђ237) per 1,000 cubic meters for Russian gas, which is similar to what other European countries pay, reports the AP. I.L.

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