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Ukraine to halt gas imports from Russia

The BRICS Post | June 14, 2014

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk has ordered a halt to natural gas imports from Russia from June 16 after the two countries failed to resolve their gas price dispute, the Ukrainian government said Friday.

“By its deliberate unilateral refusal to settle the conflict, Russia has been undermining the energy security of Ukraine and the European Union,” Yatsenyuk was quoted by the government press agency.

Yatsenyuk had also instructed the country’s Justice Ministry and state-run energy company Naftogaz to complete preparations to file a lawsuit with the Stockholm arbitration court over the dispute, the press service said in a statement.

Moreover, he asked the National Regulatory Commission to set “economically justified” tariffs for the transit of Russian gas through Ukrainian territory, it said.

Earlier in the day, Naftogaz Chairman Andrey Kobolev said Kiev was ready to compromise with Russia on gas issues, offering to pay a “compromise temporary price” of $326 per 1,000 cubic meters for Russian gas deliveries for the next 18 months.

Moscow currently charges Ukraine $485, but Kiev claims a fair price would be $268.

The two sides have been locked in dispute for three years over a 2009 contract, under which they agreed to tie the price of gas to the international spot price for oil.

Maenwhile, the Russian Foreign Ministry sent a note of protest to Ukraine over alleged border violation by Ukrainian soldiers, an official statement said Friday.

“The state border was violated by armed units, as infantry fighting vehicles crossed the border. An attempt was made to defy Russian border guards’ orders,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday.

An infantry fighting vehicle of Ukrainian armed forces crossed the Russian state border in the Rostov region of southwestern Russia earlier in the day, according to the Itar-Tass news agency. Russian border guards detained the vehicle and its crewmen retreated. No arms was used and no casualties reported.

An investigation is underway although Kiev is yet to respond to the Russian reports.

June 14, 2014 - Posted by | Economics | , ,

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