Ukraine holds out for bigger gas price cut from Russia

KIEV, June 11 Wed Jun 11, 2014 3:30am EDT

KIEV, June 11 (Reuters) - Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said on Wednesday his country had rejected a proposal by Moscow for what would amount to a $100 reduction in the price Kiev pays for Russian natural gas.

Briefing his cabinet on talks on the pricing dispute with Moscow, he said Ukraine was holding out for changes in state gas company Naftogaz's contract with Russian producer Gazprom and said it should pay the market price for gas.

Ukraine wants to change the 2009 contract that locked it into buying a set volume of gas, whether it needs it or not, at $485 per 1,000 cubic metres - the highest price paid by any customer in Europe.

Russia has floated the idea of scrapping its export duty for gas exports to Ukraine - $100 per 1,000 cubic metres, introduced after Moscow annexed Crimea in March - to reduce the price.

(Reporting by Natalia Zinets, Editing by Timothy Heritage)

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