(RIA Novosti) Russian President Vladimir Putin met Thursday with participants of Ukrainian-Russian gas negotiations and criticized the Russian and Ukrainian energy sectors for turning a dispute over prices for natural gas into a crisis between the two countries.

"You have created a crisis not only in the energy sector," Putin said. "This crisis looks more like crisis between two countries."

In this connection Russia has offered Ukraine $3.6 billion to cover expenses on the move to market prices for natural gas, the Russian president said Thursday.

"We are ready to grant a loan directly to Naftogaz to be secured by a leading international bank, either European or American," President Vladimir Putin told participants in Russian-Ukrainian gas talks.

In his turn, Russia's minister of industry and energy noted that Russia and Ukraine have not yet agreed on terms for gas deliveries and transit.

"We are working on three documents - two contracts [on gas transit and deliveries] and an underlying intergovernmental protocol for 2006," Viktor Khristenko said at a meeting between the Russian president and gas negotiators.

"For the moment, the only undisputed figure is the volume of possible gas transit to Europe - at least 110 billion cubic meters," Khristenko said.

As for the other figures, including both the volume of deliveries and price, the sides have not yet reached an agreement, the minister said.


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