Russia to maintain gas price formula for Ukraine

Russia’s price formula for gas is universal for all countries and Ukraine “is no exception,” Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday.

“We [Russia] have confirmed our intentions to strictly follow agreements reached earlier,” Putin said following talks with his Ukrainian counterpart Mykola Azarov in Moscow. “This goes both for Russian natural gas prices for Ukrainian consumers and for reliable transit via Ukraine.”

The premier said that if gas transit prices rise, prices for Ukrainian consumers would also increase.

Azarov, who said earlier he planned to seek lower prices for Russian gas or higher transit tariffs, confirmed on Tuesday that Ukraine would “follow all earlier reached agreements with Russia.”

Ukraine is seeking to revise a 2009 gas supply contract signed by former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, claiming the gas pricing formula, which linked the price for gas with the international price for oil, was unfair and forced Kiev to overpay since oil prices have risen strongly.

Alexei Miller, head of Russian gas monopoly Gazprom, said on Monday that the Russian gas price for Ukraine would nearly double in the fourth quarter of this year, amounting to nearly $500 per 1,000 cubic meters.

Ukraine is paying $295.6 per 1,000 cubic meters of Russian gas in the second quarter and expects to pay $350 in the third quarter.

At Tuesday’s meeting in Moscow, the Russian and Ukrainian premiers also signed an economic cooperation program document between the two countries for 2011-2020.

MOSCOW, June 7 (RIA Novosti) 

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