No sign of breakthrough at Russia-Ukraine gas talks

ZAVIDOVO, Russia, March 4 Mon Mar 4, 2013 11:38am EST

ZAVIDOVO, Russia, March 4 (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovich ended talks on Monday without any sign of a breakthrough to end a standoff over the price of gas imports to Kiev.

Ukraine, a transit route for more than half of Russian gas shipped to the European Union, wants to pay less for gas from Russia because it says a 2009 deal set an exorbitant price.

But Moscow has sought concessions, such as Ukraine joining a Russia-led trade bloc of giving up control of its pipeline network.

The two presidents' talks outside Moscow ended without any statement, and Putin's spokesman declined to say whether talks would continue.

The dispute between the two former Soviet republics is watched closely in Europe, which receives a quarter of its gas from Russia.

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