Ukraine 'agrees gas-tracking deal'

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The Independent Online

Ukraine has reportedly agreed to sign a deal on monitors to track natural gas supplies from Russia to Europe with no additional conditions.

Russian and Ukrainian news services said today that Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko assured EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso she would sign the agreement. Her office could not immediately be reached.

Russia has demanded that Ukraine sign the agreement before it will restart supplying gas through pipelines which cross Ukraine.

Ukraine signed the agreement but then attached what it called a "declaration". Russia said this voided the agreement.

Russia stopped supplying gas to Ukraine on January 1 over a price dispute and later cut off supplies to countries beyond Ukraine because it claimed Kiev was siphoning off gas.