Ukraine to continue working to amend gas agreements with Russia - PM Azarov
KYIV. March 26 (Interfax) - Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov views Russia's agreement to start negotiations on revising the conditions of natural gas supplies to Ukraine as an important result of his visit to Moscow.
"The fact that Russia has given its consent to starting negotiations on this theme is an important result of yesterday's meeting. Ukraine is a deprived entity in the currently existing contract," Azarov said at a press conference on Friday.
Azarov said he could not understand the reasons for which his predecessor, Yulia Tymoshenko, signed the gas agreements with Russia. "I would not have signed such a contract," he said.
In negotiating the revision of the agreement, Ukraine will seek to have its interests expanded, Azarov said. "We want the contract to be reconsidered, and the contract should meet market conditions. We are the buyer here, and we should formulate our demand for commodities, naturally, with Russia's interests taken into account," he said.
Azarov said he understood all the complexities of such negotiations. "It would be naive to think that one meeting will resolve the entire host of issues that have been piled up over the past five years of such an absurd policy toward Russia," Azarov said. "Therefore, I am really satisfied with the results of yesterday's meeting," he said.
"We will buy as much gas as we need to have gas stocks in our gas storage facilities for winter, so that we could ensure our economy will be in working order. That's all, we don't need excess gas, and this is what any normal buyer does if we talk about a market," he said.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin had said on Thursday, following talks with Azarov, that Russia was prepared to discuss the revision of the price for gas it sells to Ukraine.