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KIEV, November 2 (Itar-Tass) —— The 2009 gas agreement with Russia put Ukraine on the brink of collapse, Ukraine’s Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov said on Wednesday.
Thus, in his words, the current price for Russian gas net of a discount under Kharkov agreements is about 546 U.S. dollars per 1,000 cubic meters, while Germany, which is located 2,000 kilometers further west off the Russian border, only pays 346 U.S. dollars.
“I would like to ask why the Ukrainian people is treated so badly, why our country was placed on the verge of catastrophe. For what faults? This question may be asked to some politicians who go around making various statements,” Azarov said at an extended government meeting. As a result, he said, the government has to take measures to ease social tension because of growing prices for housing and public utilities services.
“If we do not reach an agreement with Russia [to revise the gas contracts], we will not be able to compensate the population for growing tariffs any longer,” he said, adding that the sum of such compensations in 2011 is estimated at 16 billion hryvnias (two billion U.S. dollars).