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Russia Turns Off Ukraines Gas Supply

Published: June 18, 2014 (Issue # 1816)



  • Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller leaves the negotiations with the Ukrainian government in Kiev on Monday.
    Photo: Sergei Chuzakov / AP

MOSCOW Russias Gazprom on Monday cut off gas supplies to Ukraine and moved its neighbor to a system of prepayment until Kievs indisputable debt for previous deliveries is settled.

After three rounds of intense talks in recent weeks the two sides failed to come to an agreement on the price of gas already delivered and, therefore, on Ukraines total debt to Russia. They also failed to agree on the terms governing Ukraines future gas purchases under the new prepayment system.

The logic of the Ukrainian government is to give us low prices, the ones we have with our Customs Union partners. If not, [Ukraine] will not pay debts and will get your gas for free, Gazproms head Alexei Miller said Monday at a news conference in Moscow.

The protracted spat appeared to have caused Miller no small amount of irritation, as he spoke slowly and paused for long periods between words at the conference. At one point he rebuffed a journalist who used an English word while posing a question in Russian.

What language do we speak here? he asked the journalist.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said at the same news conference that no further negotiations with the Ukrainian side are planned due to the unconstructive position of the Ukrainian government.

Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said Monday morning that Russias official position on the gas dispute with Ukraine will be defined after Miller and Novak meet with President Vladimir Putin. No such meeting was reported to have taken place at the time of publication.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk reacted sharply to Russias decision, saying during a government meeting on Monday that it represented part of a general plan by Russia to destroy Ukraine.

This is another stage of Russias aggression against the Ukrainian state and its independence. We will not subsidize Russias Gazprom. Ukrainians will not pull $5 billion out of their pockets every year so that Russia can buy arms, tanks and planes and bomb Ukrainian territory, he said.

Both Ukraine and Russia said Monday that they would file lawsuits against each other over their gas supplies grievances at the Stockholm international commercial arbitration court.

While Gazprom insists that Ukraines debt stands at $4.46 billion, the Ukrainian government claims that it will only pay a sum calculated on the basis of a discounted price of $268.5 per 1,000 cubic meters. This price was offered last December to Ukraines then-President Viktor Yanukovych after he opted out of an economic and political alliance with the European Union that sparked mass protests in central Kiev.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Aug. 21


Time is running out to see the fantastic creations on display at the 2014 Sand Castle Festival on the beach at the Peter and Paul Fortress. Adhering to the theme of Treasure Island, visitors can wander amongst larger-than-life interpretations of pirate life or attend one of the workshops held to educate a future generation of sand artists. The castles will remain on the beach until Aug. 31.



Friday, Aug. 22


Get ready to pledge allegiance to the flag during National Flag Day, paying tribute to when, 23 years ago today, the iconic hammer-and-sickle was replaced with the tricolor that now flutters in the wind. Petersburgers will be treated to a free concert on Palace Square, a military parade and a culminating air show featuring Russias Russian Knights stunt pilots.



Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during todays Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the centers Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonights performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Centers Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodinas website for more details.



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