"We will find the arguments in the negotiations with Russia on reducing the price of gas for Ukraine," Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said during the final press conference for central and regional media in Kyiv on Monday, UKRINFORM reports.

"Russia must realize that, despite the fact that it managed some time in certain circumstances to obtain a lucrative contract, this does not mean that they now can hold on it until it expires. It's a wrongful behavior. It's not quite right in the light of our long-term relationships and our strategic partnership. We have to think about the future. I am confident that the Russian leadership is an experienced leadership. And sooner or later we will agree," Azarov stressed.

At the same time, he noted that together with the issues of reducing the price of Russian gas the sides also consider prospects of a joint venture involving Naftogaz and Gazprom. But he did not specify whether an evaluation of the assets of the companies has already started.

Earlier, the prime minister has repeatedly stated that Ukraine insisted on the revision of gas contracts with Russia and intends to convince the Russian side of the need to do it. First of all, Azarov said, it is necessary to revise the pricing formula for the gas bought by Ukraine from Russia.

On November 26, presidents of Ukraine and Russia, Viktor Yanukovych and Dmitry Medvedev, after a meeting of the Ukrainian-Russian Interstate Commission in Moscow, said they would continue to seek ways to solve the gas issue in such a manner that the interests of both countries are respected.

As UKRINFORM earlier reported, supplements to the contract for natural gas supplies between Russia's Gazprom and Ukraine's Naftogaz dated January 19, 2009 were signed in Kharkiv on April 21, 2010 during Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's visit to Ukraine.

According to the supplements, Naftogaz makes payments for natural gas with a discount on the value of a reduction in the export duty during gas supplies to Ukraine, which is set by the Russian government.

The reduction totaled USD 100 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas, but no more than 30% of the gas price, and applies to 30 billion cubic meters of gas to be supplied in 2010 and 40 billion cubic meters in subsequent years.

The gas price formula and the "take or pay" principle remained unchanged. The sides cancelled the provisions of the contract related to penalties for Ukraine's consuming less gas than contracted.

The annual contracted volume of gas in 2010 was increased to 36.5 billion cubic meters.

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