KIEV, September 5 (Itar-Tass) — Former head of the Secretariat of the Ukrainian government Mikhail Livinsky accused ex-president Viktor Yushchenko of derailing gas talks with Russia. Livinsky said so at Kiev's Pechersky district court within the "gas case" against former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko on Monday.
He stated that Yushchenko, on December 31, 2008, recalled the Ukrainian delegation from Moscow, thus foiling the signing of gas contracts. Livinsky was summoned as a witness in the case. After Ukraine's demarche, Russia brought forward an ultimative price of 450 dollars per 1,000 cubic meters.
Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said "if you want gas, the price is 450 dollars per 1,000 cubic meters, not less,” Livinsky reaffirmed, adding, “Miller expressed the opinion that the price of 450 dollars would return Ukraine to negotiations in the future, but the contract was signed with this very price."
In the summer of 2008, Russia warned Ukraine that gas prices would double from January 1, 2009 – from 179.5 dollars per 360 dollars per 1,000 meters of gas, he said. Livinsky also said the government staff did not prepare directives for the talks.
"Neither Yulia Vladimirovna [Timoshenko] nor I prepared this document. It was not drawn competently, and its composition does not conform to the rules for documents of the Cabinet's Secretariat," he said, noting that he saw the document for the first time in Moscow on January 19, 2009.
"I could not have drawn this document. And Timoshenko certainly never drew it, because at that time, she had no computer," said.
In his opinion, the document most likely was prepared at the Ministry of Fuel and Energy or at the Naftogaz Ukrainy company.