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KIEV, November 24 (Itar-Tass) — Ukraine is prepared to defend its stance on gas contracts with Russia in international courts, Coal and Energy Industry Minister Yuri Boiko told a government-published daily in an interview, published on Friday.
“We shall be acting in accordance with national interests. We are prepared to defend them in London, Paris and Stockholm. Incidentally, the recent litigations between Gazprom and European companies have ended in court victories for European companies,” Boiko said.
About gas talks with Russia Boiko said that Ukraine’s position remained unchanged. The authorities were prepared to conduct the talks as long as it would be necessary to defend the country’s interests.
“In the negotiating process there are certain points of agreement, but fundamental differences remain on other issues,” Boiko said.
Earlier, Ukrainian Minister Nikolai Azarov speculated that Naftogaz Ukrainy might file a lawsuit against Russia’s Gazprom at the Arbitration Tribunal of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce in a bid to secure a revision of the gas contacts of 2009 in case direct talks with Russia end in failure.
Ukraine has for two years pressed Russia for a reduction of the price of gas. On October 22, in a statement for the press following talks with Vladimir Putin at the country residence Novo-Ogaryovo Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich said that talks with Russia over gas were still in progress. He pointed out that “we are hoping to achieve an economically reasonable and fair formula of setting the price of gas.”
Yanukovich also said that “the gas price issue may have a package solution.”
“We see certain positive movement towards the understanding of the need for settling the issue,” Yanukovich said.
The price of Russian gas for Naftogaz Ukrainy in the fourth quarter of 2012 increased by one percent in contrast to that in the third quarter to 430 dollars for one thousand cubic meters. In the first quarter the price of Russian gas for Ukraine was about 416 dollars for 1,000 cubic meters, in the second quarter, 425 dollars, and in the third quarter, 436 dollars.