Russia offers Ukraine gas price discount ahead of talks

25th September 2015, Comments 0 comments

Moscow said Friday it had formally offered Kiev a natural gas price discount, hours before the launch of crunch negotiations on resuming Russian supplies for the first time in three months.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev's office said the cabinet chief has proposed a rate for Ukraine between October 1 and the end of the year that meets "the level of prices for gas destined for Ukraine's neighbouring European Union countries."

The Russian statement offered no other details.

But Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Thursday that Moscow's offer included a cut of $20 per thousand cubic metres from the provisionally set price of $252.

The reduction is short of the $220 target requested by Ukraine this month.

Russia and Ukraine have disputed gas prices since a pro-Western popular uprising ousted ex-president Viktor Yanukovych and took control of Kiev last year.

Ukraine announced at the end of July that it was halting all Russian gas purchases because it found the price inconsistent with what Russia's energy giant Gazprom charged other European clients.

Recent weeks have seen fresh attempts to resolve the conflict with the approach of winter, when Ukraine will have a higher demand for gas and might have to dip into Russian flows destined for the rest of Europe.

Ukraine transports about 15 percent of the gas consumed by Europe -- a figure that is likely to fall with Russia's constructions of new links bypassing its war-torn neighbour.

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© 2015 AFP

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