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Gas crisis artificially created by Ukraine — Medvedev

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev says the European Commission had urged Ukraine to take a constructive approach at gas talks with Russia

GORKI, June 16. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine has artificially created the gas crisis, and it will backfire on its national economy, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Monday.

The European Commission had urged Ukraine to take a constructive approach at gas talks with Russia, Medvedev added.

There is a factor of other parties that have an influence on the situation with gas talks, the prime minister noted.


Russia ready for dialogue

Russia will be prepared for further gas talks with Ukraine, only if the debt is paid, Medvedev said. “I believe that we should not shut the window of opportunity for a dialogue. If our counterparts in Ukraine begin to listen to the voice of reason, if they get back to the discussion of very beneficial, very preferential proposals the Russian side has made, I believe that we shall be prepared for further talks, but on the condition the gas debt is paid in full,” Medvedev said.

On Monday, Gazprom has introduced pre-payment for gas supplies to Ukraine’s oil and gas company Naftogaz.

“The decision is made because of chronic non-payment by Naftogaz of Ukraine. The overdue debt for supplied Russian gas stands at $4.5 billion — $1.5 billion for November-December 2013, and $3 billion for April-May 2014,” Gazprom said in its press release.Ukrainian Coal and Energy Ministry has confirmed Russia halted gas supplies to Ukraine.


Kiev's counter-productive stance on gas dispute

Gas prepayment for Ukraine was introduced due to counter-productive stance of Kiev, which can can be described as blackmailing, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said.

Gazprom's latest gas supply terms to ukraine were better than those offered to the government of former President Viktor Yanukovych, Miller noted.

The European Commission (EC) supported Russia’s position on most of its proposals during gas talks with Ukraine, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Monday.

“We could see European Commission’s interest in having the situation settled before the winter heating season,” the minister said. “The European Commission supported most of our proposals within the framework of thorny negotiations when Ukraine was taking a destructive stance,” he added.

Earlier today, Medvedev held a meeting with Energy Minister Alexander Novak and Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller to discuss Russia’s further actions in relation to the Ukrainian gas debt issue.

Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said that “Gazprom’s CEO and energy minister will present a report to the president and the government, and decisions will be made afterwards."