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

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid