Ukraine overpays up to $6 billion annually due to the terms its current gas contract with Russia, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych told the Kommersant daily.

"The overpayment for us totals $5-6 billion, or some 20% of the country's annual budget," Yanukovych said in the interview.

"Russia's position is absolutely unacceptable for us, and if it is not changed, we will turn to international arbitration courts. We have in fact prepared the documents to be submitted to the courts," Yanukovych said. The president noted that the Ukrainian side was sure that international contracts had been violated.

The head of state said that further negotiations with Russia would not yield any results. "We've already been in talks on this issue for one-and-a-half years and we've been paying to the day and to the month under the current contracts. The talks lasting one-and-a-half years have not been a success, and they must be finalized after all!" he said, according to UKRINFORM.

Yanukovych said that it was necessary to take a decision on lodging a lawsuit in arbitration courts a long time ago. "Ukraine is suffering, and we're paying money to Russia. And we're not saying that we'll stop paying after we file a lawsuit in court," he said.

While commenting on gas relations between Ukraine and Russia, he said that if Russia talks to Ukraine "from the position of strength and ultimatums, this will produce no success."

At the same time, Yanukovych said that he saw no reason to talk about significant changes in relations between the two countries. "We have a lot of good common traditions, they existed, exist and will continue to exist. And the current situation is a test for the leadership of our countries. Will there be enough courage and wisdom to return to normal relations?" the president said.

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