Timoshenko explains why she signed gas contracts with Russia

KIEV, August 14 (Itar-Tass) — Ex-premier Yulia Timoshenko said that she had not violated Ukrainian laws and had not inflicted any damage on the state by signing the gas contracts with Russia in 2009. She noted in an interview with the European newspaper EUobserver that these contracts were necessary both for Europe and for Ukraine.

According to the ex-premier, people in EU countries were in panic during the gas conflict, since gas supplies were discontinued. That was an unbearable situation both for Europe and Ukraine. Timoshenko claims that president Viktor Yushchenko did not shoulder the main role in settling the dispute. He actively interfered with its solution.

“I was left no option”, but to assume political leadership in the name of the country in order to preserve Ukraine’s good name in Europe, the ex-premier emphasized.

In Timoshenko’s opinion, at the time (2008-2009), the Ukrainian gas infrastructure was close to a collapse, and it would have been worse if this confrontation had continued. When the agreement with Russia was signed, gas supplies resumed; Ukraine was given a 20-percent discount. These understandings put an end to inroads of the shady mediator – RosUkrEnergo – in gas trading between Ukraine and Russia.

Kiev’s Pechersky district court has been trying a criminal case since June 24, instituted against Timoshenko on charges of surpassing office powers in signing the gas contracts with Russia in January 2009, which inflicted damage on Ukraine to the tune of around 200 million US dollars. The ex-premier is now at the Lukyanovsky investigation ward from August 5.

The Russian Foreign Ministry made a statement, noting “all 2009 gas agreements were concluded in strict compliance with national legislations of the two states and international law; and appropriate instructions from the Russian and Ukrainian presidents were received for their signing”.

A regular meeting on Timoshenko’s case will be held at the Pechersky Court on Monday, August 15.

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