Ukraine Will Not Buy Russian Gas, Coal - PM

Ukraine | April 21, 2016, Thursday // 10:59|  views

Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman speaks flanked by his Danish counterpart Lars Lokke Rasmussen (not pictured), as they deliver a statement for the media following their meeting, in Kiev, Ukraine, April 19, 2016. Photo: EPA/BGNES

Ukraine's new Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman has said his country will neither hold negotiations nor purchase fuels from Russia.

"We can build relations with any neighbor if they are not aggressors or murderers. If they are... what could we talk about?" UNIAN news agency quotes him as telling TV station 24.

"Russia has to decide on its own how it wants to act so that Ukrainians build up relations with it."

"We will purchase neither gas nor coal from Russia," Groysman has also said. Ukraine is heavily dependent on Russian gas, with a major disruption of supplies since 2014 having affected millions of citizens.

Groysman, who took over as Prime Minister last week following the resignation of Arseniy Yatsenyuk, has echoed remarks by Energy Minister Ihor Nasalyk who earlier said Kiev would not hold talks with Moscow over gas deliveries.

The issue has been ongoing for nearly two years after Russian energy giant Gazprom halted supplies to Ukraine's Naftogaz, citing prolonged debt and introducing a prepayment system.

After rounds of negotiations and several disruptions and renewals of deliveries, these were suspended in the autumn.

Transit supplies were not affected, but Ukraine trebled the price paid by Russia for gas transit to Europe in retaliation.

Both countries have filed arbitration claims in Stockholm, each worth tens of billions of USD.

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Tags: Ukraine, Russia, gas, Volodymyr Groysman, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Naftogaz, Gazprom


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