Ex pres accuses Timoshenko of wrecking gas contracts with Russia

KIEV, August 17 (Itar-Tass) — Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko accused former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko of wrecking gas contracts with Russia in 2009. He said so during a questioning at Kiev’s Pechora court where he had arrived earlier on Wednesday to testify within Timoshenko’s “gas case.”

According to the former president, the former prime minister declined Russia’s offer to purchase gas at 250 dollars per 1,000 cubic meters with the transit rate at 1.7 dollars per 1,000 cubic meters.

He quoted Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin: “I personally offered the Ukrainian prime minister to come and sign a contract: the price is 250 dollars and 1.7 dollars for transit with the re-export possibility.”

Yushchenko also said he met with former first deputy head of the president’s office Alexander Shlapak, former presidential representative for international issues of energy security Bogdan Sokolovsky and former head of Naftogaz Ukrainy Oleg Dubina on December 28, 2008.

Dubina told him Russia had offered the price of 250 dollars, but promised to try to persuade it into reducing the price to 235 dollars with the transit rate at 1.7 dollars.

The former president said he had never recalled any member of the Ukrainian delegation from the 2009 gas talks, as he had no such authority.

As a result of talks between Naftogaz Ukrainy and Gazprom, the parties signed a contract of Russian gas supplies at 450 dollars per 1,000 cubic meters.

In April, the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office opened a criminal case against Timoshenko over the 2009 gas contracts. The prosecutors said Timoshenko’s exceeding her office powers in concluding the gas contracts, caused a 1.5 billion-hrivna (200 million dollar) damage to the state.

Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov expressed the opinion that the former prime minister signed “a fettering gas contract”, in exchange for writing off the 405-million-dollar debt from Ukraine’s Unified Energy Systems corporation she had earlier headed.

On Tuesday, Judge of Kiev’s Pechora district court Rodion Kireyev on Tuesday refused to meet the petition by Yulia Timoshenko’s daughter Eugenia to release her mother.

The petition calling for Timoshenko’s release does not contain new circumstances which would induce the court to set the former prime minister free, Kireyev said.

The petition was filed by Timoshenko’s daughter Eugenia Carr.


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