After years of tension, there are signs Russia and Ukraine may be edging closer to a compromise over gas supplies.
At talks in Moscow, Ukraine’s Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said Kiev would pay in full for Russian gas in March, even though the new government in his country thinks the present deal is unfair.
Analysts say Kiev wants to repair relations with Russia to steer its economy out a nosedive.
“I think we should forget what has gone on between our countries over the past five years and start our relationship with a clean slate,” Prime Minister Azarov said.
His Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin said he’d be willing to discuss prices, even though Moscow considered existing gas agreements were fair.
“We agreed there would be no subjects that were off-limits in our talks. We will do the right thing.. and work together as partners,” he said.
Among proposals on the negotiating table were a plan to hand control over Ukraine’s gas pipeline to a consortium including Russia’s Gazprom, Ukraine’s Naftogaz and energy firms from the European Union.