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KIEV, September 28 (Itar-Tass) —— The gas contracts with Russia ex-Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko concluded in January 2009, "caused enormous damage to the Ukrainian people, the Ukrainian state and its economy," Ukrainian Foreign Minister Konstantin Grishchenko said in an interview granted to a Ukrainian daily.
He said, though, it was his personal opinion, while “the final answer to this question is to be given by a court of law."
Grishchenko believes that "the main challenge in the Ukrainian-Russian relations is precisely those contracts."
"We just have to pay a high price for those agreements. An extremely high price! And since we have gained nothing here, to put it mildly, and our partners do not want to drop those achievements, we have been looking for a way out of this situation," he commented.
Grishchenko said there were some other difficult issues between the two countries, but "there the dialogue is based on some clear principles."
He once again pointed out that Kiev regarded the gas agreement of 2009 unfair and "failing to meet current international standards in relations between partner states."
In this regard, he said that Ukraine also considered those contracts futile.
"We're trying not to over-dramatize the situation. Though it is really very serious. Everyone should be interested in our agreement with Russia. And it is desirable, of course, to have no further complications," the Ukrainian Foreign Minister said.
He stated that in the current circumstances the president and government of Ukraine was doing everything in its powers to ensure the negotiations with Russia should produce a “suitable formula of exit out of this difficult situation."
Grishchenko said Ukraine was fully aware of its responsibility for Europe's energy security, and therefore it was not in the mood to take “drastic action." He expressed the certainty that Moscow and Kiev in the near future would achieve mutual understanding, as "the fundamental steps in this direction have already been made."
The foreign minister was unable to assess the possible guilt of the then president, Viktor Yushchenko, for the results of the gas talks.
"I am not in a position to judge. The only thing that was obvious to all our partners in Europe at the moment is this – if only the prime minister and the president were not wasting all their forces to wage a war of attrition against each other, Ukraine's position in the gas conflict would have been much stronger," Grishchenko said.