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  Wednesday, November 20, 2019
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Russia successfully completed negotiations on rates for oil and natural gas transit via Ukraine, as Kiev agreed to a scheme to adopt European prices for gas supplies
However, Kommersant wrote that the final price had yet to be decided. According to the paper, the talks on the new rates for supplies from Russia's natural gas giant, Gazprom, to Ukraine and for transit through its territory started in late March. Alexei Miller, Gazprom's chief executive, proposed rigid terms to Alexei Ivchenko, the chairman of Naftogaz, Ukraine's leading natural gas company, setting gas prices at $160 per thousand cubic meters against the current $55. Naftogaz took a timeout and promised to draft its proposals for the next meeting. Yesterday, Ukrainian Minister of Fuel and Energy Ivan Plachkov and his colleagues promised Viktor Khristenko, the Russian minister of industry and energy, to present their calculations on the change to European prices, including 2006, by mid-September. Talks on oil transit did not turn out to be less successful for Russia. According to Transneft, which transports 93% of Russia's oil, 54 million metric tons of oil crossed Ukraine in 2004. In 2005, Ukrainian transit is expected to total 45 million tons. A decline in pumping volumes was also registered at Ukraine's Odessa-Brody oil pipeline, which transports 5 million oil a year instead of the projected 7.5 million tons. Yesterday's meeting revealed that high tariffs were the main reason. Therefore, British-Russian TNK-BP proposed diversifying the tariff for Odessa-Brody transportation depending on volumes. The company also suggested that customs charges be slashed in the Ukrainian port of Yuzhny to improve the pipeline's efficiency. Ukraine agreed to this proposal, and only asked Russia to guarantee the Odessa-Brody pipeline would reach the full capacity of 7.5 million tons a year. However, the guarantees did not follow. "We cannot give oil producers orders on where they should pump their oil," Khristenko said.
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