Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko on Thursday arrived for energy talks with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, news agencies reported, after a domestic dispute almost scuppered her trip.
Tymoshenko and Putin were to hold talks on the sensitive topic of gas deliveries, the Ukrainian government said. The issue has caused
But Tymoshenko was temporarily grounded when her plane in
Amid media reports that bitter rival President Viktor Yushcheko was to blame, Tymoshenko arrived in
Putin and Tymoshenko were to discuss "a long-term agreement on the delivery of natural gas," the Ukrainian government said. In 2006
Tymoshenko said on Friday that she expected
Soaring prices could complicate talks, however, after Russian gas monopoly Gazprom on Wednesday announced prices for European clients had hit an all-time high of $500 per 1,000 cubic meters.
As Tymoshenko left for
The current wave of political turmoil in
Yushchenko, a close ally of Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, earned Moscows wrath by imposing restrictions on the Russian navy’s access to its Black Sea base, the Ukrainian
Tymoshenko, who is seen as slightly more sympathetic to
Tymoshenko then supported a bid by the pro-Russian opposition to reduce the president’s powers, prompting Yushchenko’s party to withdraw, collapsing the coalition and leaving the pro-West government in limbo.
On Friday Tymoshenko said the split between the pro-West allies could lead to the formation of a new pro-Moscow government, putting an end to Yushchenko’s efforts to bring the former Soviet republic of 47 million closer to the West.
Fresh from talks in Washington, next week Yushchenko is to visit Britain and Italy -- whose Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is regarded the European leader closest to Putin.
Yushchenko and Tymoshenko have had a love-hate relationship since 2004, when they joined forces in the so-called Orange Revolution to overturn the rigged election of pro-Russian candidate Viktor Yanukovych as president.
Yushchenko, Tymoshenko and Yanukovych are all expected to compete in a presidential election due by 2010, which is expected to determine the country’s foreign policy for the following five years.