BRUSSELS, May 13. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine will repay its gas debts within ten days as soon as Russia agrees on a gas price of $260 per 1,000 cubic meters, Ukraine’s parliament-appointed Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said on Tuesday after a snap joint session of the European Commission and Ukraine’s interim government.
“First we want to sign an agreement on gas supplies at fair market prices, and after that we shall repay the gas debts,” he said.
“In less than 20 days, Ukraine will refer claims on gas debts to the Stockholm court of international arbitration, if Russia does not settle this issue on market conditions,” Yatsenyuk said. “We have notified Russia’s Gazprom of our intention to refer this case to court and we call on Russia to settle this issue on market conditions. Our official offer to Gazprom is as follows: if Russia uses the gas price of the first quarter of this year of 260 U.S. dollars per 1,000 cubic meters, Ukraine will repay its gas debts immediately.”
Along with that, Yatsenyuk accused Russia of “taking over Ukrainian property worth millions and billions US dollars in Crimea” and threatened to bring Russia to court” for that.
The president of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, in turn, said that the European Commission hoped that Ukraine and Russia would be able to reach an agreement on gas before the end of the current month in order to ensure uninterrupted gas transit to and via Ukraine. In his words, Ukraine should apply norms of the European Union’s Third Energy Package, which would facilitate overhaul of Ukraine’s gas networks.