News / Europe

No Sign of Breakthrough at Russia-Ukraine Gas Talks

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) speaks with his Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yanukovich during their meeting at the Zavidova residence in the Tver region, March 4, 2013
Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) speaks with his Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yanukovich during their meeting at the Zavidova residence in the Tver region, March 4, 2013
Reuters
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovich ended talks on Monday without any sign of a breakthrough to end a standoff over the price of gas imports to Kyiv.

Ukraine, a transit route for more than half of Russian gas shipped to the European Union, wants to pay less for gas from Russia because it says a 2009 deal set an exorbitant price.

Moscow has sought concessions in return, such as Ukraine joining a post-Soviet trade bloc led by Moscow and giving up control of its pipeline network.

The two presidents' negotiations outside Moscow ended without any statement, and Putin's spokesman declined to say whether talks would continue.

The dispute between the two former Soviet republics is watched closely in Europe, which receives a quarter of its gas from Russia and as energy supply troubles have underscored Europe's vulnerability to imports recently.

On Monday, Putin and Yanukovich met in Zavidovo, some 120 kilometers (75 miles) north of Moscow, a favored hunting spot of former Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev.

Putin, who has called the Soviet Union's collapse "the biggest geopolitical catastrophe of the century", suggested Moscow's economic cooperation with Kyiv could be in jeopardy if it refused to join the customs union, which links Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus.

"The closer we work with Kazakhstan and Belarus, the harder it is for Ukraine to enter our markets," Putin said at the start of the meeting with Yanukovich.

But Yanukovich has refused to bend to Russia's calls for its participation in the union and Kiev has sought to balance ties between Moscow and the EU, which doesn't approve of its possible entrance into the trade bloc.

In 2011, Russia struck a deal with customs union-member Belarus that sold 1,000 cubic metres of gas at $165.60 - compared to the $430 Russia charges Ukraine and the $366 it expects to sell in Europe on average this year.

Yanukovich has called the expensive gas it imports from Russia "the noose around our neck". 

"The development of economic integration and Ukraine's cooperation with the Customs Union have to be discussed," he said to Putin on Monday.

You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid