Ukraine’s interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk announced today that he considers the new price announced by Russian gas company Gazprom “unfair,” and that Ukraine won’t pay it.
During the previous government, Gazprom has been pressured to provide a substantial discount on gas, but since the ouster of the pro-Russian government, they are raising the price from $268 to $485 per 1,000 cubic meters, roughly the same price as Gazprom charges other European countries.
It is unclear how long Gazprom is going to keep providing gas to Ukraine if it isn’t being paid, and the move appears to be a gamble by the interim Ukraine government that the EU will pony up more heavily subsidized gas rather than let the nation’s economy collapse for lack of energy.
On the other hand, Ukraine hadn’t been paying Gazprom the $268 rate at any rate, and had racked up billions of dollars in unpaid bills, so it isn’t clear if today’s policy of not paying their bills amounts to a real departure in Ukrainian government policy, or just more of the same.
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