Russia and Ukraine have made little progress on signing a natural gas agreement between the two governments putting the sensitive issue on hold indefinitely, Prime Minister Yuri Yekhanurov said Monday, Ukrainian journal informed.
The development may be a sign that Russia has been refusing to guarantee steady natural gas prices for Ukraine during the next five years as had been requested by the Ukrainian government.
“We haven't come to an agreement yet,” Yekhanurov said describing the talks between the two governments.
After almost a month of talks, RosUkrEnergo agreed on Feb. 2 to stipulate in the contract that it will supply gas to Ukraine at $95/1,000 cubic meters during the next five years. However, it reserved the right to change the price if Central Asian gas producers move to boost the prices.
Turkmenistan, whose gas will be supplied to Ukraine by RosUkrEnergo, has already warned that it would seek to steeply boost the prices this year, apparently to $80/1,000 cu m from $60/1,000 cu m.
Russia’s apparent refusal to guarantee the steady gas prices come despite Ukraine’s agreement to keep gas transit fee it charges Gazprom for moving its gas to Europe via Ukraine unchanged for five years.
Ukraine agreed to charge Russia $1.6 for moving 1,000 cu m of its gas for a distance of 100 km, up from $1.09 previously. Other countries in Eastern Europe charge Russia $2.5 for moving 1,000 cu m of its gas for a distance of 100 km.
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