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KIEV, May 20 (Itar-Tass) — Ukraine will look for and find an alternative to Russian gas, said on Sunday President Viktor Yanukovich, speaking in an interview with reporter Vitaly Korotich, aired by the First National TV channel.
“We hope, in future too, for a success at the talks with Russia on gas, we work on this issue,” he said. “The hope remains, and we, when hold talks, take into account that Russia is our strategic partner, but the price for gas – 620 US dollars together with the AVT and expenses for transport is the highest in Europe. It is under 450 dollars there.”
“Ukraine pays a very high price. Therefore, we are forced to look for ways of pulling out of this situation, to look for an alternative, and it will be found,” the president stated. “We are looking for alternative sources of gas supplies and not because of our desire “to break up” relations with Russia.
“Just we have no free money. If we don’t agree now, we shall be forced to go our own way,” he emphasised.
According to the head of state, “it is impossible to slap down such high prices on Ukrainian enterprises and household consumers.” “We have not increased the gas price for our consumers, and the state covers shortfalls that are not covered by revenues of Naftogaz Ukrainy.
“Our losses totalled 12 billion dollars over the past two years,” the president went on to say, “and all of them are over treaties concluded by Yulia Timoshenko”.