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  Wednesday, June 3, 2020
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Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov postponed his visit to Kiev
Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov postponed his visit to Kiev. On Wednesday, he was to have met with his Ukrainian colleague for talks over cooperation in the gas sector. However, the two prime ministers will meet in Moscow at a session of the Council of the heads of CIS governments on Friday. Minister of Industry and Energy Viktor Khristenko told the Vremya news program on Tuesday that the visit had been postponed because of the failure "to achieve specific accords on forms of cooperation in the gas sector.” Khristenko underlined that Ukrainian colleagues had confirmed in a telephone conversation with him the necessity for transfer to monetary payment for gas supplies to Ukraine and gas transit to Europe through the Ukrainian territory. The minister expressed the hope that the issue would be resolved before the end of this year, to avoid possible problems with gas supplies. At present, Ukraine buys Russian gas at a heavily discounted price. As a vital transit country for gas supplies to Europe, Kiev insists on keeping the old barter plan with Russia, wheras Moscow is seeking to transfer to "monetary payment." Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, when he was prime minister in 2000, was an active support of monetary settlement, a Russian government source told Itar-Tass.
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