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 Medvedev Says Russia Made a Gift of $80 Billion in Gas Discounts to Ukraine


Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev hopes that Ukraine will pay the outstanding share of the gas debt by the end of the year. He is sure that a settlement can be negotiated if problems arise, but at the same time he does not rule out a litigation.

"We have agreed that Ukraine must pay the debt. It has repaid part of it already, and it is to settle the other part by the end of the year," he told five television channels in an interview, Censor.NET reports citing TASS. "I do hope they will pay."

Medvedev said Russia had always sought negotiated solutions with the Ukrainian partners.

"We have been doing our utmost to conclude amicable deals with the Ukrainian counterparts," he said.

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"Over the past years we have given Ukraine $80 billion in discounts as a gift - during the 1990s and early this century," Medvedev said. He complained that quite often Kyiv conducted bargaining that smacked of blackmail and gas supplies were accompanied by "plain theft from the pipelines." As a result Russia shifted to prepayments for gas.

The discounts "did no good" and Ukraine accrued a huge debt. The two sides agreed its volume and a settlement pattern; besides, Russia set very lax terms.

"We established another discount to prevent the Ukrainian economy from choking. We are not indifferent to what will happen to Ukraine and to Ukrainian citizens," Medvedev said.

At the moment Ukraine has started paying for gas.

"We shall be trading on a very pragmatic basis - if they pay the money, they get the gas, if not, no gas is supplied," he said.

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Medvedev called upon the European partners to extend assistance to Ukraine, the way Russia did by giving a loan to Kyiv.

They have been paying so far, and I hope they will be paying further on," he added.

"That's the current state of affairs. It remains to be seen how the situation will unfold," Medvedev stated. In case of problems "an agreement is always possible."

"The opportunity to come to the negotiating table is always there. Otherwise, there are several law suits in the Stockholm court. We shall meet there," he concluded.

Ukraine has already filed a lawsuit to the Stockholm court against Russia demanding revision of gas contracts of 2009.

Источник: https://censor.net.ua/en/n315757