Medvedev insists gas contract with Ukraine must be fulfilled

The existing gas contract between Russia and Ukraine, which Kiev wants to revise to cut prices, must be fulfilled, President Dmitry Medvedev said on Wednesday.

“Speaking of the future, we are ready to consider different options,” Medvedev said. “But I’ll be frank with you: let Ukraine get us interested, so we are interested in thinking about such cooperation in the future. In this case we may return to discussing terms.”

Kiev could get so called integration discounts if it joined the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, he said.

“We’ve had problems and very serious problems in gas cooperation with Belarus too, but we have reached a normal level of understanding,” he said. “Belarus is now a Customs Union member, and we have agreed that Russia is buying almost a 100 percent of Beltransgaz … I think this is the path our Ukrainian friends should take.”

Belarus received an integration discount when it agreed to join the Customs Union and to sell its gas transportation company Beltransgaz to Russian gas giant Gazprom. Ukraine has repeatedly refused to sell its Naftogaz energy company. The firm has been one of Gazprom’s key acquisition targets, to ensure uninterrupted gas supplies to Europe.

“Although our colleagues have rejected the idea on the spot … I believe we should not rush here,” Medvedev said.

Ukraine has been seeking a revision of the 2009 gas deal with Russia since last spring, saying that the gas price formula is unfair. Russia has tied the price for gas to the international spot price for oil, which has been rising strongly recently.
The contract was signed by former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko who is now on trial for abuse of authority in signing it.

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