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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kuchma Calls for Transit Fee Hike

KIEV -- President Leonid Kuchma has demanded that the Cabinet immediately raise transportation tariffs for Russian oil and natural gas in response to Moscow's decision to increase duties on crude oil exports.

"Where is your response?" Kuchma said Friday at a meeting of regional and government officials in Kiev, in remarks reported by Interfax. "This decision must be made tomorrow."

Energy-starved Ukraine is heavily dependent on Russia's natural oil and gas, part of which comes as payment for the transit of these commodities through Ukraine to Europe.

Russia has sought lower transit tariffs from Ukraine. Kiev has demanded in turn that Russia lower its oil export duties.

The Russian move, which took effect in early December, doubled the export duty on crude oil to 15 euros ($15.30) per metric ton and was prompted by rising oil prices on the world market.