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

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

Analysts say move by President Xi is an effort to win more party support, take step toward economic reforms, removing those who would stand in way of change More

South Africa Land Reforms Still Contentious 20 Years Later

Activists argue that the pace of land reform is slow and biased; legal experts question how some proposed reforms would be implemented More

In Vietnam, Religious Freedoms Violated, UN Finds

Beliefs reportedly prompt heavy surveillance, intimidation and travel restrictions More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid