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The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Russia Offers Ukraine A New Gas Deal - But Is It Fair?
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Yesterday Russia said that starting in June Ukraine would have to pre-pay for its natural gas. Now Reuters reports that Russia is willing to offer Ukraine a discount on gas if it pays off its $2.2 billion in debt that stems from previous gas purchases.

"We will discuss this (lowering the rate Russia charges Ukraine) if they pay even the debt owed on April 1, and this was $2.237 billion," Novak said. Russia said Kiev's debt to state-controlled Gazprom is now just over $3.5 billion.

Ukraine's deputy energy minister, Ihor Didenko, said on Thursday Gazprom's price of $485 per 1,000 cubic metres was monopolistic and unfair and that Kiev was working on proposals to avoid the gas taps being switched off.

He said that if the price were to be fixed at $268.5 per 1,000 cubic metres Kiev would be prepared to pay around $4 billion before the end of May.

Russia had previously increased the price of gas by about 80%. So essentially, today's "deal" is that if Ukraine pays full price for its debts, some of which are based on the increased prices, Russia may give them a new discount, but it's not clear at what price.