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You're reading: Azarov hoping Russia will not fine Kyiv for not taking gas

Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov has expressed the hope that Russia will not levy fines upon Kyiv for not taking gas.

“We are working to reduce the negative balance of our balance of
payments. With what? With maximum striving to avoid the acquisition of
expensive Russian gas. You know, we have reduced gas consumption by ten
billion cubic meters. And what is ten billion? It is four and a half
billion dollars,” Azarov said in an interview carried on the BBC’s
Ukrainian service.

Asked whether Russia would be imposing fines, Azarov said, “Well, let
them go ahead. I think they won’t. There are with Russia certain
agreements and constant negotiations on reviewing the contract are

“This is not the first year we are reducing gas purchases,” the prime minister said.

Commenting on the situation surrounding the gas negotiations with
Russia, Azarov said, “Well, here you say ‘thank you’ to the politician
that concluded these contracts. She [former Prime Minister Yulia
Tymoshenko] wrote it out so that Ukraine is without rights, that it does
not have the right to get out of the agreement. Here is ten years –
and, bless you, fulfill the existing contract. Only on Russia’s
initiative is it possible to review the contract. And it’s not possible
on our initiative.”

“How can such an inequitable contract be signed with Russia? What
kind of responsibility is needed for this? For this reason I want to
emphasize that that we have no alternatives today,” the prime minister

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