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Russia, Ukraine Reach Gas Agreement

Russia and Ukraine say they have reached a final agreement on natural gas deliveries for the rest of the year.

Russia's state-run gas monopoly Gazprom says the deal, announced Thursday, also specifies prices for gas delivered in the first two months of this year.

Additionally, the new agreement streamlines gas trade by eliminating intermediary companies that Ukraine said were complicating gas payment procedures.

Gazprom cut gas deliveries to Ukraine by more than 50 percent earlier this month, because, it said, no payment provisions were in place for gas delivered to Ukraine in January and February. The Russian company had demanded $600 million in back payments, as well as for a payment plan for the rest of the year.

Ukraine threatened to siphon gas meant for Europe from pipelines that cross Ukraine.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.