Russia not to revise gas deal if opposition comes to power in Ukraine

January 29, 2014

Russia will not initiate a revision of its gas agreements with Ukraine, which has been hit by anti-government protests, even if the opposition in that country comes to power, Russian President Vladimir Putin told a news conference after the Russia-EU summit in Brussels on January 28, Itar-Tass has reported.

“Will we revise our agreements on loans and energy if the opposition takes over? We will not, it is not important for us,” he said.

Russia reduced the natural gas price for its neighbor to $268 from some $400 per 1,000 cubic meters and decided to provide Ukraine with a $15 billion loan in December 2013 after Kiev refused to sign an association agreement with the EU at a summit in Vilnius in November and decided to seek closer ties with Russia instead.

Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov tendered his resignation Tuesday. President Viktor Yanukovich accepted it, the head of state's press service reported.

Putin also said Russia’s financial aid to Ukraine was not for a particular Ukrainian government but for the Ukrainian nation.

He recalled a Ukrainian saying: "When masters fall out their men get the clout,” which means, he said, that ordinary people suffer. The Russian leader said he would like to reduce that burden on Ukrainian nationals.

Copyright: Itar-Tass, 2014