Former Minister of Fuel and Energy Yuriy Prodan said today in court that the directives to hold negotiations between Naftohaz of Ukraine and Russia’s Gazprom were instructions from the prime minister.

“I considered them a document that contains instructions from the prime minister, and the minister must carry out the prime minister’s instructions,” Yuriy Prodan said while being questioned today as a witness in the case against Yulia Tymoshenko over gas agreements signed in 2009.

The ex-minister also said that the directives were accompanied by written instructions signed by Yulia Tymoshenko and said there are photocopies of this document.

Yulia Tymoshenko then asked the court to accept this document as evidence, but the judge refused, even though the former minister and prime minister confirmed the existence of the written instructions. “This document proves the legality of my actions. I believe that if you want to determine the truth, then this document must be added to the record,” she said.

When asking questions of Yuriy Prodan, the ex-premier repeated that she has been denied defense and is forced to communicate with the witness without proper legal assistance.

The ex-minister also refuted testimony given by other witnesses who claimed there was no need to sign a disadvantageous contract for the supply and transit of gas in January 2009 because natural gas reserves were sufficient to continue negotiations. “With every day the situation worsened, Ukraine’s gas transport system never worked in reverse mode. This was a very difficult situation,” stressed Yuriy Prodan.

According to him, as a result of negotiations between the prime ministers of Russia and Ukraine the cost of transiting natural gas across the territory of Ukraine increased, which couldn’t have led to losses for Naftohaz.

Yulia Tymoshenko also asked the court to add to the record the contract between Naftohaz and Ukrtranshaz for the supply of technical gas for transit. But the court refused to add to the record a document that proves the legality of Yulia Tymoshenko’s actions in signing contracts with Russia in 2009.

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