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Ukraine ready for compromise on $326 gas pricing - minister

June 15, 2014, 0:06 UTC+3 KIEV
Answering a question if Ukraine can exist without Russian gas, Yuri Prodan said: “The country has enough gas. We’re accumulating enough gas in our storage facilities.”
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© EPA/OLIVIER HOSLET

KIEV, June 14, 23:44 /ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine’s senior government official has said the country insists on the gas price of $268 per 1,000 cubic metres.

“Ukraine is ready for compromises,” Ukrainian parliament-appointed Minister of Energy and Coal Industry Yuri Prodan said on Saturday before the tripartite gas talks.

“The Naftogaz CEO told you about compromises yesterday [‘intermediate pricing’ of $326 per 1,000 cubic metres],” he said.

Answering a question if Ukraine can exist without Russian gas, Prodan said: “The country has enough gas. We’re accumulating enough gas in our storage facilities.”

He expressed hope that the tripartite talks would be constructive.

If gas supplies are stopped on June 16, this will not have a serious impact on Ukraine’s internal needs, Prodan said.

The gas price of 385 U.S. dollars per 1,000 cubic metres offered by Russia to Ukraine is not the best one on the market, Ukrainian Energy and Coal Industry Minister Yuri Prodan said after trilateral talks with Russian and EU officials in Brussels on June 11.

“We have many proposals, including on reverse flow supplies at a price much lower than 385 U.S. dollars. Given the transit across Ukraine and back to European countries, we can say that Gazprom’s price can be lower than what European suppliers are offering now,” the minister said.

Russia proposed renewing a 100-U.S. dollar discount for gas supplies to Ukraine, but Kiev turned down the offer.

Parliament-appointed Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk said his government was insisting on changes to the effective gas contract. “If gas is a political weapon, then this is a political weapon in the hands of the Russian government. If gas is a commodity, as it is in the rest of the world, we trade on the basis of a contract, not on the basis of whether Russia likes the Ukrainian government or not,” he said.

The current price of Russian gas for Ukraine is 485 U.S. dollars per 1,000 cubic metres. Ukraine is insisting on the price of 268.5 U.S. dollars. However, this week Gazprom lowered the price of gas supplied to Ukraine in April and May to 384.86 U.S. dollars per 1,000 cubic metres.

Prodan said an acceptable gas price for Ukraine could be within the range of 268.5 to 385 U.S. dollars.

“If the matter is examined in the Stockholm court, Ukraine will be prepared to agree to the compromise price proposed by the European Commission. I do not want to name it, but it is within the range of 268.5 to 385 U.S. dollars per 1,000 cubic metres,” Prodan said.

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