News / Europe

Ukraine Tells Russia Not to Use Natural Gas as 'Weapon'

Ukraine has only half of the gas in storage it needs to avoid problems in winter, Gazprom Deputy Chief Executive Vitaly Markelov said Tuesday. A man walks near the main office of Gazprom in Moscow on May 13, 2014.
Ukraine has only half of the gas in storage it needs to avoid problems in winter, Gazprom Deputy Chief Executive Vitaly Markelov said Tuesday. A man walks near the main office of Gazprom in Moscow on May 13, 2014.
VOA NewsReuters
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk urged Russia on Tuesday not to use natural gas as a "weapon" against his country, and accused Moscow of seizing tens
of billions of dollars' worth of its assets and energy resources
in Crimea.

Russian energy giant Gazprom earlier demanded a $1.66 billion pre-payment from Kiev for June gas deliveries, saying Ukraine had only half its requirements in storage to ensure a trouble-free winter.

"We are ready for a market-based approach and Russia is to stop using natural gas as another, or a new type of Russian weapon," Yatsenyuk told a news conference with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso in Brussels.

Ukraine wants to change the conditions of a 2009 contract that locked Kyiv into buying a set volume of gas, whether it needs it or not, at $485 per 1,000 cubic meters - the highest price paid by any client in Europe.

Moscow dropped the price to $268.5 after then-President Viktor Yanukovych turned his back on a trade and association agreement with the European Union last year, but reinstated the original price after he was ousted in February.

Ukraine pushes back

Kyiv has so far refused to pay the higher price, saying gas is being used as a political tool by Moscow to punish Ukraine's new leaders for moving closer to the EU.

Yatsenyuk said Ukraine was ready to pay its arrears for Russian gas within 10 days if state-controlled Gazprom agreed to sell it at $268 per 1,000 cubic meters.

But he repeated a threat to take Gazprom to an arbitration court in Stockholm if the two sides failed to agree on a price by May 28, and said he was making a "final call" to Russia to sit down and negotiate a solution to the gas dispute.

Yatsenyuk accused Russia of seizing Ukrainian property worth tens or even hundreds of billions of dollars, including Crimean gas company Chernomorneftegaz, when it annexed the region in March.

"They have stolen more than 2 billion cubic meters of Ukrainian natural gas. They've stolen our fields, they have stolen our companies, they have stolen our onshore and offshore drills. We will see Russia in court too," he said.

US, EU Sanctions

The United States and its European allies, in condemning Russian intervention in Ukraine, have imposed visa bans and asset freezes on a long list of Russian corporate leaders and advisers close to President Vladmir Putin.

Now, Moscow says it will bar the use of Russian-made rocket engines on U.S. military satellite launches. The U.S. has a two-year supply of the engines, but the ban could eventually force it to turn to other, more costly launch vehicles.

Russia also said it has rejected a bid by the U.S. to extend use of the 15-nation International Space Station beyond the previous target of 2020 to 2024.

You May Like

Photogallery US Storm Falls Short of Severe Predictions, Yet Affects Millions

NYC mayor says, 'This is nothing like we feared it would be,' yet blizzard warnings, travel bans remain for several East Coast states More

Millions of Displaced Nigerians Struggle With Daily Existence

Government acknowledges over a million people displaced in 2014 due to fight against Boko Haram insurgency More

Facebook: Internal Error to Blame for Outages

Temporary outage appeared to spill over and temporarily slow or block traffic to other major Internet sites More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Maxwell from: USA
May 15, 2014 9:41 AM
Russia provided aid to Ukraine when the EU and US would not, Russia had reduced gas rates and provided subsidies and financial aid of about $15 Billion to Ukraine. But the West did nothing more then support the protestors that demanded a Ukraine sever ties with Russia and partner with the West, even when the West would not provide them aid. So Russia wants their investment returned, and no more subsidies and discounted gas for Ukraine, they chose the side they wanted to partner with, now the West can pony-up and help Ukraine pay their bills.


by: brian wilson from: america
May 14, 2014 11:23 AM
Where I come from, if you don't pay your gas bill, the gas is shut off. Let America pay for Ukraine's gas. We have plenty of printing presses. The US appointed violent leaders of Ukraine in Kiev spit in Russia's face, then want free gas. Typical American logic.

In Response

by: Ron M from: Odessa, Ukraine
May 15, 2014 11:10 AM
Did you read the article? Putin just stole billions, if not trillions of dollars with of resourced from Ukraine and all you can say is "you gotta pay your bills?"

In Response

by: Maxwell from: USA
May 15, 2014 9:55 AM
The EU and US had ignored Ukraine's request for aid back in November 2013, but Russia stepped-up and provided reduced rates on gas and financial support, not the West. So when protestors in Kiev were upset that Ukraine was partnering with Russia and not the West, they took to the streets and voiced their opinions that they wanted the West as a partner. Western leaders, including Obama, publicly supported these protestors and took to social media to encourage them, the crowds grew larger, louder and more violent.

Now the West can support Ukraine and bail them out every year like they do Greece, but Ukraine still has to pay back loans and subsidies they received from Russia that Russia was assisting their Government with, while the West was assisting the protestors with the media attention. The West also influenced Ukraine's decision on selecting a leader by talking-up an 'aid package' before them, one-billion from the US and thirteen-billion from the EU, but once again, talk of financial aid from the West has gone silent.

In Response

by: Sean Costello from: U.S.
May 15, 2014 12:18 AM
from America lol nice try.. The US had nothing to do with the people that took control of Ukraine after they ousted their corrupt, embezzling president. This is just propaganda.. just because you believe what they put in your newspaper doesn't make it true. Ukraine can't pay up on the gas because of the billions Yanukovitch stole while he was in office, and if him and Putin didn't have the whole thing planned far in advance I would be truly shocked.


by: ALEX from: USA
May 14, 2014 11:19 AM
USA TODAY, ABC News‎, Wall Street Journal:
Hunter Biden, the younger son of Vice President Joe Biden, will be joining Ukraine’s largest private gas producer, the company announced in a statement........
So that what this is all about????


by: gen from: Japan
May 14, 2014 9:01 AM
Gas price is $485 per 1000 cubic meters? Is it expensive?
My living country gas company billed us $33 per 20 cubic meters.
it calucurates $1,650 per 1000 cubic meters. OMG.
I don't want to pay the gas bill.
If russian gas is weapon,the company 's gas which I pay for would be a mass destruction weapon.


by: Michael from: USA
May 13, 2014 10:56 PM
So how come sleazeball USA can use finance as a weapon. To support their nazi pals.


by: Dell Stator from: US
May 13, 2014 10:26 AM
The Ukraine, if it's serious about freedom, has to while training up a fair and impartial police force, justice system and army, needs to cut it's need for gas, Russia supplies 25% of their total energy needs. Alot, but it can be replaced, first off with conservation - insulation and lowering thermostats, 10 degrees F in winter if need be, Mom in the deep north does it to help me pay her oil bills, allies could immediately ship in construction materials and managers to hire local crews (to solve high UE too) to insulate roofs in as much of West Ukraine buildings as possible.

Tens of thousands could be done by winter. It makes a HUGE difference. Dam up streams or sluice water off to micro hydro gens, which locals could knock together from little more than auto and HVAC parts, they'd need converters to get it to line voltage, but the solar energy business has hundreds of thousands of those ready to ship and Fedex is there to do it.

The Ukraine needs admin help more than anything to get them moving on the path to freedom. These are all non military aid that would to some extent feed purchases from allies, insulation, power converters, etc. and feed local economies with dollars from the bottom, the best way.

In Response

by: Ron M from: Odesa, Ukraine
May 15, 2014 11:19 AM
The problem is that most people here in Ukraine live in apartment blocks with radiator heating that has no thermostats and walls are solid concrete with no insulation. The only way to reduce the temperature in your aparyment is the open window.

This is the result of the Kremlin's central planning. Now Ukraine is paying for Moscow's imposed inefficiencies.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid