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Azarov: Gas problem with Russia prompts Ukraine to make important economic decision

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July 26, 2012, 10:56 a.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine

Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov has pointed to some positive aspects of the complex gas negotiations with Russia, for instance, the Ukrainian decision to save energy.
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Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov has pointed to some positive aspects of the complex gas negotiations with Russia, for instance, the Ukrainian decision to save energy. 

"Should our [Ukraine-Russia] economic relations be pragmatic or not? Certainly, they should. Pragmatism is necessary in reasonable, normal amounts, and that should not dishearten us. For instance, we started paying high gas prices and immediately had to start saving energy. That is, the complex gas relations with Russia prompted a practical decision extremely important for our economy," he said in an interview published by the Russian edition of Zavtra on Wednesday.

"The complex and sometimes dramatic [gas] negotiations" with Russia derive from the activity of the former Ukrainian government, Azarov said.

"I think that Russia should show understanding at some point," he added.

Asked whether Azarov would attend "a joint prayer glorifying the Russian world" at the Kyiv St. Sofia Cathedral in the presence of the Ukrainian and Russian presidents after a round of gas talks, he said, "Sure, I would do that gladly." 

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