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Russian gas suspended: Ukraine movement leader warns of winter woe

August 08, 2014, 14:49 UTC+3 KIEV
"But Ukraine is not planning to negotiate," leader of the Ukrainian Choice movement Viktor Medvedchuk says
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© ITAR-TASS / Dmitry Rogulin

KIEV, August 08. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine faces the threat of disaster if the government fails to negotiate with Russia for gas supplies, leader of the Ukrainian Choice movement Viktor Medvedchuk said in comments published on the movement’s website on Friday.

"What is clear is the government is going to make Ukraine starve,” he said.

“EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger plans negotiations to settle the gas dispute between Kiev and Moscow and the Russian side has presented to the European Commission its suggestions on the settlement," Medvedchuk said.

"But Ukraine is not planning to negotiate," he added. "Tripartite talks [Ukraine-Russia-EU] on resuming gas supplies, due in August, have been postponed to mid-September."

“It is still unclear whether they will take place in September or will be postponed further. What is clear is the government is going to make Ukraine starve."

After suspension of Russian gas supplies, Ukraine's government had introduced radical measures, said Medvedchuk.

Industries were cut off, hot water was denied to households to save gas for the winter, the temperature ruled acceptable had been lowered and authorities planned to cut gas consumption by domestic clients by 30%, he said.

“Ukraine has no alternative to Russian gas," said the observer. "This means Ukrainians can only hope the winter will be record-warm or that officials will have enough reasons and political will to begin negotiations to avoid a disaster in the country. There is no living through the heating season without gas."

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