At the CIS anniversary summit in Tajikistan, President Viktor Yanukovych openly accused Russia of exerting pressure during talks over renegotiating the gas contract with Ukraine. The Ukrainian leader stated that any pressure on Ukraine related to the gas issue is unacceptable.
On Saturday , President of Ukraine, while participating in the 20th anniversary summit commemorating the creation of the Commonwealth of Independent States in Dushanbe, deemed Russia exerting pressure on Ukraine in order to renegotiate the gas agreement unacceptable.
The Ukrainian leader’s statement is another episode of a conflict over Russian gas prices for Ukraine. ‘Any pressure in these issues is humiliating to us. We will not allow talking to us in such way… (They) pushed us in the corner, at first, and then started to dictate terms. Today it humiliates not only me, but it humiliates the state, and I cannot allow it,’ claimed President Yanukovych. Some time earlier, Ukrainian Head of State announced that a merger between the state company Naftogaz and Russian Gazprom – one of the conditions for lowering Russian gas price – is out of the question.
Watch Ukrainian President’s response at the meeting in Dushanbe [uk]
Earlier on Friday, September 2, 2011, Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov informed about restructuring Naftogaz, In place of a state monopolist there will be created several companies: ‘Two separate companies – one related to gas extraction and another regarding its transit – will be established. As a result, the agreement [with Gazprom] will have to be changed due to emerging of a new business entity,’ announced Ukrainian Prime Minister. The country’s authorities hope for alterations to gas contracts with Russia, which are considered in Kiev unfavourable for Ukraine.
President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev, through his spokesperson Natalia Timakova, replied that the Russian side expects: ‘Ukrainian partners will fully and in accordance with the agreement respect conditions arising from the contract, including the price of the gas supplies, even in case of reorganizing Naftogaz … We consider manipulating the proceedings of the reorganization process in order to justify a unilateral termination of the agreement unacceptable. Any internal decision of Ukraine shall not influence fulfilling international obligations.’
Watch coverage in Ukrainian television [uk]:
Watch coverage in Russian television [ru]: