It will be the fifth meeting of the presidents for the last two months. During the meeting in the east Ukrainian city of Kharkov the heads of state will discuss "problems of interaction in the gas sphere in the context of Russian gas supplies to Ukraine and its transit to European consumers," the Kremlin said, according to RIA Novosti.
Ukraine reportedly requested Russia to lower the gas price to $250 or at least $260 per 1,000 cu m. The ex-Soviet republic currently purchases Russian natural gas at the average annual price of $337 per 1,000 cu m. The gas price equaled $305 per 1,000 cu m in the first quarter.
In return for cheaper gas, Ukraine could offer Russia a stake in its gas transportation system, which currently carries about 80% of Russian natural gas exports to Europe, and a discount for Russian gas transit to European consumers.
The Kremlin also said: "Another issue important to both sides is the creation of conditions for the operation of Russia's Black Sea Fleet in Ukraine."
During his meeting with Medvedev on March 5, Yanukovych pledged to steer a more balanced policy towards Russia and to continue discussions on the future of the Black Sea Fleet bases in Ukraine's Crimea, which his predecessor Viktor Yushchenko was reluctant to do.
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