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Putin, Yushchenko to Meet Next Week


The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet next week in the wake of a dispute between their countries over the price Kiev pays Moscow for natural gas.

A Kremlin spokesman says Russian President Vladimir Putin will confer with Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko January 11 in Kazakhstan on the sidelines of the inauguration of President Nursultan Nazarbayev.

Russian news reports say Mr. Putin and Mr. Yushchenko also exchanged Orthodox Christmas greetings by telephone late Friday.

Russia's state-run natural gas company, Gazprom, cut off exports to Ukraine Sunday after Kiev refused a contract that increased the price by 400 percent. On Wednesday, the two sides agreed Ukraine will pay nearly double the price for natural gas it paid in 2005.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.