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Russia's flagship air carrier Aeroflot said on Saturday it had agreed
Russia's flagship air carrier Aeroflot said on Saturday it had agreed on a formula to establish fuel prices with the country's largest crude producers, led by Gazprom Neft.

The parties agreed to switch to long-term contracts on fixed fuel prices. Gazprom Neft is the oil arm of the national energy giant Gazprom.

"The price formula will be based on the globally recognized Platts prices," the airline said in a news release.

Aeroflot's general director, Valery Okulov, said the fuel price agreement would be an efficient way of enabling the airline to be more flexible in planning its fuel expenses and would offer a certain amount of insurance against price fluctuations.

Gazprom Neft said in a news release that such cooperation would make unnecessary any intermediaries and would create a competitive fuel market and stabilize air carriage.

Russia's anti-monopoly regulator (FAS) investigated Russia's major crude producers LUKoil, Gazprom Neft, Surgutneftegaz, TNK-BP Management, Rosneft and other companies in July over hikes in fuel prices, and demanded in September that seven of them cut prices.

In late September, FAS also found actions by Gazprom Neft and TNK-BP to be in breach of competition laws, while allegations against Surgutneftegaz were dropped.

Problems with fuel bills caused flight delays across the country in August and September 2008 and forced a number of airlines into bankruptcy.


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