KIEV, March 22, /ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine will have to buy natural gas from Russia even at $500 per 1,000 cubic meters should Moscow set such a price, Ukrainian parliament-appointed prime minister Arseny Yatsenyuk said on Ukrainian television.
“Our country is fully energy dependent on Russia. It is impossible currently to give up Russian gas [imports],” Yatsenyuk stated Friday.
Yatsenyuk returned from Brussels on Friday. “We continue talks on receiving gas from European Union member countries,” he told journalists in Borispol airport outside Kiev. He said he believes “gas from Europe will cost $150 less than Russian gas.”
Russia slashed the natural gas price for Ukraine to $268 from some $400 per 1,000 cubic meters after the Ukrainian authorities suspended the signing of an association agreement with the EU at a Vilnius summit in November 2013 opting for closer ties with Moscow instead.
The refusal triggered mass anti-government protests in Ukraine, which often turned violent and eventually ended with a coup in February. President Viktor Yanukovich had to leave Ukraine citing security concerns. Russia does not recognize the new Ukrainian leadership saying Yanukovich is the country’s legitimate leader.
Russian energy giant Gazprom recently said the price for gas to Ukraine would be higher from April saying Moscow's partners in Kiev do not fulfill agreements reached when the lower price for Russian gas was discussed.