MOSCOW, September 9 (Itar-Tass) —— Russian President Dmitry Medvedev criticized Ukrainian “friends” over a new gas dispute, but refused to describe it as a conflict and said the parties will reach an acceptable agreement provided Ukraine strictly abides by the 2009 gas deal.
The Ukrainian president and prime minister claimed the country is paying too much for the Russian gas and threatened to non comply with the terms of the 2009 agreement and appeal to international arbitration.
“It is an outrage when our colleagues, partners, the president of Ukraine, the prime minister of Ukraine say the agreement is unfair and bad and they will not fulfill it,” Medvedev said in an interview with the Euronews TV channel aired on Friday.
“Unless contested in court or cancelled by the parties all agreements shall be fulfilled and I hope our Ukrainian friends will strictly abide by the framework of the agreement signed in 2009. I hope the experience of our close partners and friends in the past years will teach that it is impossible to explode the existing agreed base even if you do not like it,” Medvedev said.
He stressed Russia is ready to discuss various approaches “both advanced and based on integration or those including investment presence in the economy and gas transportation system of Ukraine.” In case of agreement Moscow may decrease gas prices for Ukraine.
“If we succeed to agree on the issues we might be ready to consider changing the cooperation scheme,” the president said and stressed Ukrainian claims about paying higher prices than others are unfounded.
“The talk that we are paying more than others have no grounds and is pure propaganda,” he said.
“Ukraine is paying by the same formula and the money is commensurate to the price paid by other European consumers. Yes, prices are high but they can also be extremely low which will be a problem for the energy supplier. I hope Ukrainian consumers will properly fulfill the agreement and we shall agree on our future affairs and future cooperation parameters,” Medvedev said.
He refused to describe the current situation as a conflict. “Most likely there are different approaches which can develop into a complicated situation,” the president said.