Gas Price Cut for Ukraine Is Temporary Solution - Putin

December 20, 2013

Russia’s decision to slash its gas price to Ukraine by a third is a pragmatic and temporary decision, but a long-term solution must be found, President Vladimir Putin said on December 19, Prime has reported.

“It was not the first decision of this kind, you have missed some important things because Gazprom had signed additional documents to the existing contract twice to postpone payments: first to October and then to November,” Putin told a news conference.

“Now we have delayed the payments again. We really understand that there are difficulties, so why should we finish off our key partner? This was a pragmatic decision, indeed, it is of a temporary character. We are counting on finding a long-term solution to allow us work together.”

Putin said that lower gas prices and a U.S. $15 billion monetary bailout offered to Kiev on Tuesday was a gesture to help “brotherly” Ukraine out of its economic crisis, not an attempt to swerve it from signing an association deal with the European Union, whose signing was abruptly ended by Ukraine in favor of closer relations with Moscow.

“Under the conditions, we have taken a decision linked with our special relations with Ukraine, not in the interests of a current government, but in the interests of the Ukrainian people,” he said.

Copyright: Prime, 2013