11 Nov 2009 14:09

Gas deal with Russia harms Ukraine - Yushchenko

KYIV. Nov 11 (Interfax) - Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko deems relations between Ukraine and Russia in the natural gas sector to be unequal.

"We are not contented with such relations. They are destabilizing the gas situation on the continent," Yushchenko said in an interview with journalists in Kyiv on Wednesday.

These relations should be market-based and have to be free from political influence, Yushchenko said. Ukraine cannot be satisfied with a gas contract under which it must buy an agreed amount of gas from Russia, which has led to penalties currently amounting to $7.5 billion, and this figure will rise to $8.7 billion by the end of the year, he said.

The price at which Ukraine buys gas from Russia has tripled over the past three years, while the price that Russia pays Ukraine for transiting its gas further to Europe has remained the same, Yushchenko said.