Ukraine, Russia seek gas dispute deal before Poroshenko-Obama talks
Published on Jun 2, 2014 10:08 AM
KIEV (AFP) - Ukraine and Russia enter crunch talks on Monday to settle a long-running dispute over the price of gas deliveries, two days before a first meeting between Kiev's new pro-Western leader and US President Barack Obama.
Ukraine's third "gas war" with Russia in less than a decade erupted when Moscow - stunned by the sudden ouster of an ally who had just rejected an EU alliance that the Kremlin greatly feared - nearly doubled the price it charges its neighbour for the fuel.
Kiev accused Moscow of "economic aggression" and refused to cover a bill that Russia puts at US$5.17 billion (S$6.5 billion).
Russian gas transits through Ukraine supply about 15 per cent of European needs and a top EU envoy is now urgently seeking a compromise that could save 18 member states from seeing their deliveries start dwindling on Wednesday.
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