which imports all its natural gas from Russia and produces none of its
own, has long been courting Moscow to get a discount for gas imports
since a 2009 agreement significantly increased the price for the gas
Ukraine receives from Russia.
Russia’s deputy prime minister,
Arkady Dvorkovich, said Saturday that Ukraine may expect a discount only
if it joins a Russia-dominated economic alliance. Ukraine has resisted
such Russian overtures, fearing that membership in the Moscow-led
Customs Union would scuttle its hopes of closer ties with the EU.
Moscow opposes Kiev’s efforts to integrate into the EU and move away from the Kremlin’s sphere of influence.