Ukraine seeks further extension of Russian gas discount

Kiev, June 9 (IANS) Ukrainian Energy Minister Volodymyr Demchyshyn said on Monday that Kiev hopes to reach an agreement with Russia on the further extension of a discount on the natural gas price.

“I have no doubts that the agreement would be reached,” Demchyshyn told reporters during a press conference, Xinhua reported.

If Ukraine gets no new discount, it would have to pay Moscow at least $295 per 1,000 cubic metres of gas under the contract signed in 2009, the minister said, adding that such price would be higher than the 250 dollars, which Kiev pays European countries for the same amount.

“If Russians want to sell us gas, they should offer us the market price,” Demchyshyn said.

He added that the new pricing arrangement would be discussed during trilateral gas talks among Ukraine, Russia and the European Union (EU) scheduled for late June.

A deal to grant Kiev a discount of $100 per 1,000 cubic metres of Russian gas was reached between the two sides in October 2014 under the mediation of the EU to help the cash-strapped Ukraine overcome the winter heating season.

After the agreement has expired on March 31, Russia extended the discount for another three months until June 30.

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