During today's press conference, Victor Yushchenko said Ukraine should build its relations with Russia on a rational economic basis “without any political implications.”

Commenting on Ukrainian-Russian gas talks, the Head of State said Ukraine primarily wanted to formulate a clear-cut concept to determine gas prices. We believe they should be consistent with prices in other countries of the region.

“Our prices should be comparable with Belarus, Estonia, Moldova and Georgia. This surrounding market can be used for comparison,” he said, stressing that it was important to take into consideration specific features of each territory.

The President added that the lack of “clear pricing mechanisms” made Ukraine consume gas irrationally, the President's press office reported.

Our second demand is gradualness. We think there should be some transitional period to develop market relations and so Ukraine insists that we should set the deadline for this transition and determine relevant means.

“This is not a one-day issue. We are speaking about billions of dollars and the unprecedented change of mechanisms,” he stressed.

Yushchenko assured all that “unsanctioned stealing of gas was stopped.”

“Ukraine has never taken anything for nothing,” he said. “Those schemes must have helped rob Ukraine but I do not wish to politicize the issue and will only be responsible for my presidency.”


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