Ukraine does not recognize the new price on natural gas imported from Russia and refuses to pay it, Ukraine's Energy Minister Yury Prodan said.
In December 2013, an agreement was reached, according to which Ukraine paid 268.5 dollars per thousand cubic meters of gas. However, on April 1, Gazprom canceled the discount due to breach of contract committed by Ukraine, and the price rose to 385.5 dollars. On April 3, the Russian gas monopoly canceled another discount that was provided under the Kharkov agreements from 2010 in exchange to the move to extend the presence of Russia's Black Sea Fleet in the Crimea. As a result, the price rose to $485 per thousand cubic meters.
"We do not recognize this price. This is an unfair, non-economic and non-market price. We believe that at the end of 2013, agreements were reached, and the price was established on January 1 on the level of 268.5 U.S. dollars. There are no grounds stipulated in the contract to either change or sharply increase the price," said Prodan.
"We have clearly stated that an economic war was unleashed against Ukraine due to the ungrounded price on gas. The price of $500 per thousand cubic meters can not be accepted by Ukraine, at least because we do not acknowledge the fact, which says Russia that the Russian Black Sea Fleet is not located on the territory of Ukraine. We believe that the Russian Black Sea Fleet is located on the territory of Ukraine, and agreements must be valid in terms of gas prices," said the Ukrainian minister.
Noteworthy, Ukraine's debt for gas to Russia's Gazprom amounts to 2.2 billion dollars as of April 8, 2014.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba believes that "Crimea has already become a" suitcase without a handle” for Russia