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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, Oct. 2


The celebration of the bicentennial of the birth of Mikhail Lermontov continues with todays free exhibition in the citys Lermontov Library at 19 Liteiny Prospekt. Titled Under the Rustling Wings, the temporary exhibition will feature the costumes and scenery used in the 1917 production of Lermontovs play The Masquerade, which he wrote in 1835 when he was only 21 years old.



Friday, Oct. 3


Learn more about how to manage and evaluate employee performance during SPIBAs Human Resources Committee meeting this morning on Employee Assessment: Global and Local Trends. Starting at 9:30 a.m., the discussion will touch on such topics as the partnership between HR and business, reliable assessment strategies and more, with Tatiana Andrianova, the head of the SHL Russia and CIS branch in St. Petersburg, as the featured guest. Confirm your participation by Oct. 2 by emailing office@spiba.ru or calling 325 9091.


AmChams Procurement Committee Meeting is at 9 a.m. this morning in their office in the New St. Isaac Office Center on Ulitsa Yakubovicha.



Saturday, Oct. 4


Wine and cheese lovers will get their chance to revel during Scandinavia Country Club and Spas Wine Market Weekend. Going on today and tomorrow, wining diners can listen to live music, take part in culinary classes and, of course, sample a variety of fine wines from around the world. The cost of admission is 400 rubles ($10.30) for adults and 200 rubles ($5.15) for children.



Sunday, Oct. 5


Look for the latest fall fashions at the Autumn Market today in Freedom Anticafe at 7 Kazanskaya Ulitsa. The minimarket plans to offer clothes more flattering than the puffy jackets that are a staple of the citys cold-weather fashion, while offering the same amount of protection from the biting winds blowing off of the Baltic.



Monday, Oct. 6


SKA St. Petersburg, the citys KHL affiliate, welcomes Slovakian club HC Slovan in a match-up tonight at the Ice Palace near the Prospekt Bolshevikov metro station. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. and tickets can be purchased on the clubs website or in person at either the arenas box office or the clubs merchandise store on Nevsky Prospekt.



Tuesday, Oct. 7


Learn more about Russias energy industry at the St. Petersburg Energy Forum that begins today and runs through Oct. 10. Attracting industry experts and political and business representatives, the forum plans to welcome more than 350 plus companies and their representatives to discuss the future of Russias largest economic sector.



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