Most Ukrainians Consider Prices For Russian Gas Unfair - Poll

KIEV, Ukraine -- Over 60 percent of Ukrainian people consider Kiev buys overpriced Russian gas, Ukraine's Reiting sociological company said in its public opinion poll on Saturday.

"Only 13 percent of respondents consider price as a market one, 1 percent thinks that the price is lower than market one, while 26 percent have not given a concrete answer," the company said in a statement, adding that 56 percent of respondents were sure Ukraine should strive for lower gas prices without any concessions.

Ukraine is seeking to review gas deals with Russia, saying the 2009 contract's gas price formula is unfair. Former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko is now on trial for signing it.

Moscow has tied the price for gas to the international spot price for oil, which have risen strongly since due to the instability in the Middle East.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov has said Ukraine was ready for compromises.

Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister Boris Kolesnikov said late on Friday that country's damage from 2009 gas deals with Russia might stand at $80 billion.

"Tymoshenko signed a contract for $40 billion cubic meters of gas per year. It is a $200 more expensive price than for Germany and core Ukrainian competitors in Europe."

"In other words the Ukrainian industry and people pay $8 billion more every year. Ukraine's loss will be $80 billion for 10 years under the contract," Kolesnikov told Ukraine's Inter TV channel.

In late September Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich and Russian authorities held gas talks in Moscow, after which the Russian president's press service said that considerable progress had been reached during the negotiations.

Source: RIA Novosti