Rada commission holds Tymoshenko responsible for "discriminatory" gas price Ukraine pays to Russia

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June 16, 2011, 2:17 p.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine

Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko
© AP

Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko bears personal responsibility for an agreement with Russia under which Ukraine has to buy Russian natural gas at a non-market and discriminatory basic price of $450 per 1,000 cubic meters, an ad hoc investigative parliamentary commission said in its preliminary report. "The discriminatory, non-market, and politically-motivated basic price of $450 per 1,000 cubic meters in the gas price formula was set based on personal agreements between Ukrainian Prime Minister Tymoshenko and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on January 17, 2009," the commission said in the report.

The investigative commission has found out from replies from the presidential secretariat, the Foreign Ministry, and the Cabinet of ministers that Tymoshenko's negotiations with Putin in the early hours of January 17, 2009, were held absolutely secretly, and their essence is still unknown.

In addition to setting the basic price of $450 per 1,000 cubic meters, Tymoshenko and Putin agreed that the transition period for switching to market-based prices was reduced from three years to one and endorsed a plan for expropriating gas from the company RosUkrEnergo, it said.

The commission believes the same agreements envision that the gas price formula includes the prices for fuel oil and gas oil used in Europe instead of coal used in Ukraine, so that Ukraine has to buy 52 billion cubic meters of gas annually under the 'buy or pay' principle, and that Ukraine has to pay penalties amounting to 300% of the price if it does not buy the amount of gas stipulated by the contract.

Tymoshenko also abused her powers by intervening in negotiations between Naftogaz of Ukraine and Gazprom on the purchase, sale, and transportation of gas and submitting directives not endorsed by the government, whose essence ruined previous intergovernmental agreements on this account dating back to October 2, 2008.

Tymoshenko has categorically dismissed the accusations that she caused Ukraine losses by concluding the 2009 gas contracts with Russia, although she agrees to bear personal responsibility for their conclusions. She is maintaining that the charges against her are trumped-up and politically motivated.
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