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Russia Turns Off Ukraines Gas Supply

Published: June 18, 2014 (Issue # 1816)



  • Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller leaves the negotiations with the Ukrainian government in Kiev on Monday.
    Photo: Sergei Chuzakov / AP

MOSCOW Russias Gazprom on Monday cut off gas supplies to Ukraine and moved its neighbor to a system of prepayment until Kievs indisputable debt for previous deliveries is settled.

After three rounds of intense talks in recent weeks the two sides failed to come to an agreement on the price of gas already delivered and, therefore, on Ukraines total debt to Russia. They also failed to agree on the terms governing Ukraines future gas purchases under the new prepayment system.

The logic of the Ukrainian government is to give us low prices, the ones we have with our Customs Union partners. If not, [Ukraine] will not pay debts and will get your gas for free, Gazproms head Alexei Miller said Monday at a news conference in Moscow.

The protracted spat appeared to have caused Miller no small amount of irritation, as he spoke slowly and paused for long periods between words at the conference. At one point he rebuffed a journalist who used an English word while posing a question in Russian.

What language do we speak here? he asked the journalist.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said at the same news conference that no further negotiations with the Ukrainian side are planned due to the unconstructive position of the Ukrainian government.

Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said Monday morning that Russias official position on the gas dispute with Ukraine will be defined after Miller and Novak meet with President Vladimir Putin. No such meeting was reported to have taken place at the time of publication.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk reacted sharply to Russias decision, saying during a government meeting on Monday that it represented part of a general plan by Russia to destroy Ukraine.

This is another stage of Russias aggression against the Ukrainian state and its independence. We will not subsidize Russias Gazprom. Ukrainians will not pull $5 billion out of their pockets every year so that Russia can buy arms, tanks and planes and bomb Ukrainian territory, he said.

Both Ukraine and Russia said Monday that they would file lawsuits against each other over their gas supplies grievances at the Stockholm international commercial arbitration court.

While Gazprom insists that Ukraines debt stands at $4.46 billion, the Ukrainian government claims that it will only pay a sum calculated on the basis of a discounted price of $268.5 per 1,000 cubic meters. This price was offered last December to Ukraines then-President Viktor Yanukovych after he opted out of an economic and political alliance with the European Union that sparked mass protests in central Kiev.

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AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the clubs website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit Neophobia at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBAs Marketing and Communications Committees round table discussion on Government Relations Practices in Russia this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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