Yushchenko decries gas deal

Feb. 9, 2009 at 5:43 PM

KIEV, Ukraine, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- Ukrainian officials who signed a gas deal with Russia will be held accountable, Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko said.

RIA Novosti reported Monday that the deal came after Russia suspended supplies to Ukraine on Jan. 1 after Kiev failed to reach an agreement on a new gas contract for 2009. Then, a week later, Gazprom cut off gas deliveries to the European Union, saying Ukraine was stealing gas intended for EU consumers.

Under the terms of an agreement hammered out between Ukraine's Naftogaz and Russia's Gazprom Jan. 19, Ukraine will have to pay Russia $450 per 35,314 cubic feet with a 20 percent discount while transit fees have not been revised.

"This is obviously unfair. I'm sure that those who have signed this agreement and accepted these terms will have to answer for their actions," Yushchenko was quoted as saying, noting that $450 was "an exorbitant price."

A Ukrainian presidential spokesman said Saturday that Naftogaz could go bankrupt as a result of the deal.

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