Ukraine hopes to seal a deal on a gas consortium with Russia in the near future, Ukrainian fuel and energy minister Yuriy Boiko said on Monday.

"Talks are underway; we want guarantees from Gazprom that there will be sufficient transit volumes - no less than 100 billion cu m a year," Boiko said in an interview with the Ukrainian newspaper Segodnya, according to RIA Novosti.

"The terms we offer allow us to hope that [we] will agree on the consortium," he said, adding that it was too early to disclose the terms.

In April, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin proposed a merger between Russia's gas giant Gazprom and Ukraine's Naftogaz.

The proposal was slated by the Ukrainian opposition as putting Ukraine's sovereignty at risk.

Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said that the Ukrainian gas transportation system should become part of a joint Russian-Ukrainian gas venture.

Russian-Ukrainian ties have seen a dramatic improvement since Viktor Yanukovych replaced Yushchenko as president in late February.


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