News / Europe

    Putin: Ukraine Gas Price Demands a ‘Dead End’

    FILE - A pressure gauge is seen at a gas compressor station near Uzhhorod, western Ukraine.
    FILE - A pressure gauge is seen at a gas compressor station near Uzhhorod, western Ukraine.
    VOA News
    President Vladimir Putin accused Ukraine Wednesday of pushing gas talks toward a “dead-end” by asking for additional discounts.

    He suggested that Russia's latest proposal to cut the current price of $485 per 1,000 cubic meters by $100 may be its final offer.

    Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said at a government meeting Wednesday the $100 "discount" is not a suitable substitute for the re-written contract Ukraine has been seeking.
     
    "Russia has offered us a decrease of the gas price by $100 as a so-called discount. I want to state officially that we are familiar with such Russian traps. The discount is set by the government of the Russian Federation and can be canceled by the decision of the government of the Russian Federation," Yatsenyuk said.
     
    The current contract the two countries signed in 2009 requires Ukraine to buy a set volume of gas from Russia, whether it needs it or not, and at the price of $485 per thousand cubic meters, the highest price paid by any customer in Europe.

    Gas as 'political weapon'

    Yatsenyuk said Ukraine was holding out for changes in state gas company Naftogaz's contract with Russian exporter Gazprom and demanded to pay the market price for gas.

    “We demand changes in the contract. If gas is a political weapon, then it is clear that it is a political weapon in the hands of the Russian government. And if gas is a commodity, as all over the world, then we are trading on the basis of the contract and not on the basis of whether Russia likes or dislikes the Ukrainian government,” Yatsenyuk said.
     
    Officials from both sides held negotiations Wednesday in Brussels as they try to resolve the dispute on pricing and Ukraine's multibillion-dollar energy debt. 

    Further negotiations could take place by phone before Monday, when Moscow has threatened to halt supplies. If it goes through with its threat, it could affect supplies to other parts of Europe. The European Union gets about a third of its gas imports from Russia and around half of that amount it receives through pipelines that cross Ukraine.

    Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller told Russian news agencies on Wednesday that Russia is giving Ukraine until next Monday before implementing a new requirement to pre-pay for any new gas.

    Russia and Ukraine are negotiating ways for Kyiv to clear its outstanding debts, the amount of which is being disputed. Kyiv has been late with payments, prompting Russia to threaten to demand payment up front for future deliveries or it might restrict supplies.

    Russia canceled price discounts for Ukraine following the ouster of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych. Ukraine has been seeking a new price agreement before settling debts.
     
    The discussions are going on alongside other efforts to defuse the crisis in eastern Ukraine, where Ukrainian forces have been carrying out an operation to retake control from pro-Russian separatists.
     
    'Evacuation' corridor suggested

    On Tuesday, Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko ordered the creation of "evacuation" corridors to allow people to escape the fighting and for the government to assist in the movement of refugees and in the distribution of medical services in the largely Russian-speaking east.
     
    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov welcomed the Poroshenko directive as "a step in the right direction." 
     
    In Kyiv Tuesday, visiting U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland pledged U.S. support for economic development and efforts to stabilize eastern Ukraine.

    She also again congratulated the Ukrainian people for last month's "free and fair" presidential election.

    Some information for this report provided by Reuters and AP.

    You May Like

    Turkey, West in Standoff Over Syrian Refugees

    Turkish government refuses to admit refugees, the first in a wave of civilians fleeing offensive by Assad regime in northern Aleppo countryside

    Jailed American Testifies About Islamist Involvement in Mumbai Attacks

    David Headley testifies via video link that Pakistan-based Islamic terror group made two failed attempts to mount strikes in Mumbai in months prior to coordinated assault

    These Are the 10 Smartest US States

    A new report breaks down the nation's best and brightest

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Cayman
    June 15, 2014 3:33 PM
    They are really thinking with the attitude they have to Russia they will have prices lower?
    Russia asked about 385$ this cost was the same with the last president and even the European Commission find this price good enough! They had the discount with 100$ and this is more than friendly in this situation especially counting that Ukraine already has 2 billion $ debt! Gazprom not a charity organization. Because of silly Ukraine position all Europe could stay out of gas and Ukraine is still hoping on their help!

    by: Zara from: Berlin
    June 12, 2014 2:45 AM
    We must help Ukrainians and punish Russia!!!

    by: Gene Hicks from: Idaho, USA
    June 11, 2014 2:10 PM
    Hopefully the Ukraine has FINALLY gotten an honest president and prime minister whom will work for the people of Ukraine...NOT THEMSELFS!! Having lived and worked in the Ukraine for many years I firmly believe the Ukraine could and should be a vibrant and prosperous country as the breadbasket of all Europe!!!

    by: Anonymous
    June 11, 2014 1:04 PM
    All of the countries in europe that accept Russian gas should be denouncing Russia and demanding Ukraine pay the same price as them, not a dollar more.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.