SLOW UKRAINIAN GAS - 2
Ukraine has asked Russia to reduce the cost it charges the country for gas as well as write-off loans Russia has given it.
In the past, gas disputes between the two countries have led to shut-offs, including a 2009 standoff, which caused serious disruptions to the EU.
An emergency deal was struck between both Russia and Ukraine for winter pricing that has since expired and new talks are to be held if Ukraine is to receive more gas from Russia.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk was quoted in an official press release as saying: "We are convinced that the only mechanism to ensure a gas transit to the EU as well as stable supplies to Ukraine is applying the same mechanism that was worked out last year between the EU, Ukraine and Russia."
The previous deal set the price of Russian gas for Ukraine at $385 per 1,000 cubic meters. Russia also offered a 30 percent discount of the contract price, worth up to $100 off per 1,000 cubic meters, which was dependent on on global energy prices.
As reported on by the AP, the Ukrainian government settled a deal on Thursday with its international bondholders to lighten its public debt burden. It will see the creditors write off 20 percent of their bond holdings from $19 billion in sovereign debt to $15.5 billion.
The AP also noted that although Russian creditors did not take part in talks, Ukrainian officials insisted Thursday that Moscow should accept the same terms because it would not get a better deal than Ukraine's other creditors.
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