(RIA Novosti) - Russia and Ukraine will not face another gas crisis during New Year holidays as both countries pledged to fulfill their obligations on gas transit to Europe, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said.

"We sincerely hope that all recent agreements [in the gas sphere] will be fulfilled...We would not want to have any surprises during New Year celebrations," Putin said late on Monday after talks with his Ukrainian counterpart Yulia Tymoshenko.

Putin said Moscow and Kiev agreed to adjust the previous gas agreements so that the price of the transit would increase by 60% while Ukraine will pay European market prices for gas in 2010 without a 20% discount.

He also said that Russia's energy giant Gazprom and Ukraine's Naftogaz would agree new volumes of gas deliveries for 2010 to avoid penalties for Ukraine.

The move is in line with a January deal that ended a gas crisis that caused a cutoff in Russian supplies to Ukraine and affected millions of European consumers.

Under the current gas agreements, Ukraine charged Russia $1.7 per 1,000 cubic meters per 100 kilometers in 2009. President Viktor Yushchenko earlier said Naftogaz has received at least $2.5 billion a year less than it should have done. Ukraine transits about 80% of Russia's Europe-bound gas.

Ukraine has paid for gas supplies on time this year. In October, however, a minor dispute arose on the amount of gas Ukraine is to import from Russia. Kiev has been buying a lower gas volume due to its economic slowdown, and plans to import less still in 2010.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko reaffirmed after the Yalta talks that Kiev would fulfill its obligations on the transit of Russian natural gas to Europe.


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