Six weeks before the parliamentary election, two leaders of Ukraine’s pro-Russian coalition flew to St. Petersburg Friday and won an offer from Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller to sell gas at a 25% discount, reports ubn.news.
Miller also asked for two-way, Russia-Ukraine talks to renew Gazprom’s gas transit contract, cutting out the EU. Yuriy Boyko and Viktor Medvedchuk said Gazprom’s calculations show that Ukraine’s “government deliberately buys gas at exorbitant prices.”
In response, Naftogaz officials said that, with European gas prices dropping, Ukraine already buys gas well below Gazprom’s offered “discount.” “First, they overestimate by 100% the fair market price, and then they give a “discount” of 25%,” Yuriy Vitrenko, Naftogaz executive director, writes on Facebook. “We don’t need your illusory discounts.”
Under heavy EU pressure to negotiate a new gas transit pact with Ukraine, Russia’s deputy foreign minister Aleksander Pankin said Thursday: “No one has ever made an announcement that we will refuse [to continue gas transit]. For us, it would be deadly and irrational.” Russia is on the defensive as European traders charge that Russia’s Transneft cost them hundreds of millions of dollars by sending west large volumes of oil contaminated with organic chlorides.
As reported earlier, Naftogaz is suing Gazprom for $12 bln.