Ukraine has accused Russia of stealing energy resources in Crimea and threatened to take Russia to court over its recent gas price increases.
On Tuesday, Ukraine’s interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said that the Ukrainian government would take Russia to court unless it agreed to a gas supply contract based on market prices.
He also said that Ukraine would sue Russian energy giant Gazprom if they did not come to an agreement on gas prices by May 28.
“If I am not mistaken, they have 20 days left. This is the final call to Russia to sit at the negotiating table and find the solution,” he said.
Yatsenyuk claimed that Russia is using natural gas as a weapon against Ukraine and also that Russia was seizing tens of billions of US dollars worth of Ukraine’s assets and energy resources in Crimea.
A recent report shows that Ukraine’s gas debt to Russia is over $3.5 billion.
Gazprom announced on Tuesday that Ukraine had until June 2 to pay $1.6 billion, which it owes or Moscow would halt supplies.
Ukraine refuses to settle its gas debts, saying that Russia doubled the price following February protests, which resulted in the ouster of Ukraine’s former president, Viktor Yanukovych.
Russia provides about half of Ukraine’s and 30 percent of Europe’s total gas demand with key pipelines on the Ukrainian territory.
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