In the last week, Russia has almost doubled the price Ukraine pays for its gas.
Since Yanukovych left power Russia has been pressuring Kyiv to pay for past gas debts.
Alexei Miller, Chairman of Russia’s gas export monopoly Gazprom explained:
“11.4 billion US dollars is the amount the Russian government has not received. Russia was paying for the Black Sea Fleet in Ukraine… working towards prolonging that agreement. In other words, Russia was paying an advance.”
Ukraine imports more than half its gas from Russia.
Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk said there are no economic grounds for the sudden gas price hike:
“It is not an economic price but a political one,” he said.
“Russia didn’t manage to invade Ukraine by military aggression, so they’re executing their plan to invade Ukraine using gas prices and economic aggression,” Yatsenyuk added.
Kyiv has been carrying out emergency talks with Slovakia, Hungary and Poland on supplies of gas from the West by reversing pipeline flow through infrastructure designed to carry Russian gas to Europe.