Russia Cancels Black Sea Fleet Gas Discount for Ukraine

MOSCOW, April 3 (RIA Novosti) – Since Russia has terminated agreements with Ukraine on the basing of the Black Sea Fleet, it has also retracted a related discount on export duties on gas destined for the country, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said during a meeting with Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller on Thursday.

Miller told the prime minister on Thursday that gas prices for Ukraine will increase by $100 to $485.50 per 1,000 cubic meters beginning in April.

“In our future relations with our Ukrainian partners, with consumers, there are standards of set prices for customs duties on gas without using any discounts or preferences. This decision needs to be considered in the future payments of Ukrainian consumers,” Medvedev said.

Ukraine received a $100 discount for Russian gas under the 2010 deal in exchange for extending the lease allowing Russia’s Black Sea Fleet to be stationed in Ukraine. In December, Ukraine received another gas discount, effectively cutting the price to $268.50 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas.

Earlier this week, Russia canceled the December gas discount, raising the price to $385.50 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas. Russia also froze payouts as part of a $15 billion loan deal, agreed between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Viktor Yanukovych, who was ousted in February as a result of an illegitimate coup.

Medvedev warned Thursday that Kiev’s failure to pay its $1.7 billion gas debt would further impact cooperation in the gas industry.

“Let’s let our Ukrainian partners find the necessary finances in order to repay their debts and pay for their current bills, because otherwise cooperation in this sphere, as in any other spheres, cannot continue,” Medvedev said.

Miller expressed hope that Ukraine would settle its gas debt.

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