(Reuters) Yulia Tymoshenko, set to return as Ukraine's prime minister, called on Thursday for a radical review of Kiev's current deal with Russia on natural gas imports, which she has denounced as far too expensive.
"I think all issues on gas supplies to Ukraine now require further deep revision and review," she told reporters minutes after three liberal parties overcame differences and agreed to form a coalition government.
Ukraine imports most of its gas from Russia and clashes frequently with its vast neighbour on prices. Russian also delivers up to 80 percent of its gas to Europe via pipelines across Ukraine.
The latest row at the start of this year culminated in a brief cut-off of supplies to Europe, before Kiev accepted a nearly twofold increase in prices.
"Certainly, all new relations with Russia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan should be built on a friendly basis," Tymoshenko said. But her stance on gas looks set to further strain ties with Moscow, as Russia has said it wants to increase the gas prices.
Ukraine pays now $95 per 1,000 cubic meters of natural gas compared with $50 previously. Tymoshenko has repeatedly said the prices should be lower.
But Russia's gas giant Gazprom has said it wants to raise prices again later this year and plans another round of talks for July.
Gazprom has also expressed concern that Ukraine's stocks of gas in underground storages are lower than planned, saying this could affect supplies to Europe in winter.
Russia transits up to 80 percent of its gas to Europe via the Ukrainian territory.
Europe gets around a quarter of its gas from Russia.
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