Azarov Aiming At Russian Gas Price For Ukraine Of $200 Per 1,000 Cubic Meters

KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov has said that the formula of gas price for Ukraine should be based on the same principles as that for the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany, Poland and other European countries.

The head of Ukraine's government said this in a commentary to the First National TV Channel, talking about the reasons for the revision of the formula of the Russian gas price for Ukraine, according to the official Web site of the Party of Regions.

"There are several arguments. Firstly, the European Union countries are receiving gas at a price lower than that for Ukraine. This is the result of these gas contracts (signed in 2009), and this formula, which leads to an absolutely absurd situation, when a country located further from Russia receives gas at a lower price than Ukraine," the Web site quoted Azarov as saying.

"The second argument, which we have already stated and wondered, why the formula of gas price for Ukraine depends on the cost of gas oil, which is scarcely ever used in Ukraine's energy sector.

And we are talking about the European approach, when the price of gas is pegged to the cost of the energy resource that can replace natural gas. What resource can replace gas? Coal, for instance. We have a lot of coal. Why should not we bind this formula to the coal?" he added.

"And finally and most importantly, there can be no agreement that satisfies one side, and doesn't suit the others. The practice of such contracts has shown that sooner or later there comes a time when such contract is terminated. This time has come," Azarov stressed.

Speaking about the possible gas price for Ukraine, the prime minister said: "In the view of the Kharkiv agreements it is about $200 per 1,000 cubic meters."

"We believe that we are not looking for any benefits or asking preferences for ourselves. We're saying that the [gas price] formula for us should be based on the same principles on which [the Russian gas company] Gazprom makes a formula for the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany, Poland, any other European country," Azarov concluded.

Source: Interfax