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7

Agreement on Monitoring Gas Flow via Ukraine Reached

RIA Novosti reported the European Commission said a deal on monitoring gas transit via Ukraine had been reached

The move is aimed at fast restoration of gas supplies to the EU member states, the Commission said.

Ukrainian energy company Naftogaz chief Oleh Dubyna said at gas talks in Brussels Thursday that Ukraine was ready to allow EU experts into its territory for them to control Russian gas transit, including when the gas enters Ukraine and when it leaves the country.

Ukraine has not allowed independent observers to its gas measuring stations since January 1.

The European Commission held talks with Russia and Ukraine on the gas issue on Thursday and Friday.

Previous talks between Russia and Ukraine ended on New Year's Eve with no agreement on how to settle Kiev's gas debts or on a contract for 2009 deliveries.

As a result, gas supplies from Russia to European consumers through Ukraine were reduced and then halted, affecting in particular Hungary, Serbia, Macedonia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece, Bosnia, Italy, Poland, France, Slovenia, Austria, the Czech Republic, Romania and Slovakia.

European Union experts are to arrive in Ukraine on Friday to monitor Russian gas transit to Europe. The deal was reached between the European Commission and the Ukrainian government on Thursday.