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MOSCOW, September 6 (Itar-Tass) —— State Duma Vice-Speaker, Liberal Democratic Party leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky thinks that Russia may suspend gas deliveries to Ukraine if the latter refuses to pay the agreed price.
“Russia will stop gas deliveries if Ukraine refuses to pay the agreed price, which is smaller than the average European one,” he said on Tuesday. “The West should be warned right now that Ukraine may stop paying for gas and may start stealing the gas we are sending to Europe. Let European partners take measures as regards [Ukrainian President Viktor] Yanukovich.”
Zhirinovsky does not rule out either that Ukraine may join the common customs space in the future. “We are neighbors, and we have always lived together. We have a common economy, culture and language. Integration would be the next step,” he said.
Yanukovich told the newspaper Kommersant on Tuesday that Ukraine had drafted documents for settling the gas dispute with Russia in court.
Kiev demands from Moscow an average gas price for Germany minus transportation expenditures and the discount rate of $100 per 1,000 cubic meters provided by the Kharkov agreements. Asked what concessions Ukraine was prepared to make at the gas negotiations, Yanukovich said that concessions were necessary in the case of the discount and the lesser price. “However, Ukraine does not need that. We just want to return to the civilized course and the European market price,” he said.
Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller told reporters that Russia was selling gas to Ukraine for less than to a number of European countries. “The gas price for Ukraine is smaller than that for Poland, Hungary, Turkey and Romania. There is an impression that our Ukrainian partners have taken a train called ‘cheap Russian gas’ and do not know at which stop to disembark. They may travel too far and into a deadend,” he said. “Meanwhile, the Ukrainian charge on Russian gas transit is much higher than that in Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia,” Miller said.
“The Ukrainian president is being misled about the charges on Russian gas transit across the republican territory and the gas price for Ukrainian consumers,” he said.