KIEV, January 13 (Itar-Tass) —— Ukrainian Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov rules out a possibility of a new “gas war” between Ukraine and Russia.
“What should we fight for? This is an absurd question. We shall never so much and speak about it,” he told journalists on Friday.
Azarov said that Ukraine intended to continue talks with Russia on the reduction of the gas price. “On the one hand, we are holding active talks with our Russian partners. On the other hand, we are preparing the country for sustaining the present gas price,” he continued.
According to Azarov, it is more profitable for Ukraine to use coal, than Russian gas, purchased for 416 dollars per 1,000 cubic meters. “If we consider the use of coal instead of gas, which costs 416 dollars, we shall come to the conclusion that it is economically feasible to burn coal. If the gas price is reduced down to, say, 220 dollars, it will become unreasonable to use coal as fuel.”
Azarov said Ukraine had set itself the task of perceptibly reducing Russian gas consumption in 2012. “We held a conference on the problem, we distributed the duties, and now we are working hard on it,” Azarov said. According to his information, during the past two years the government kept under close control the situation in the coal industry, which made it possible to achieve coal surplus in 2011, which amounted to five million tons.