Ukraine considers Russian gas bill too costly: PM
Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said Friday that a 7 billion U.S. dollar bill for Russian gas is too much, according to Xinhua.
The amount of money asked by Russian gas giant Gazprom "is equivalent to three months' pensions for all Ukrainian retirees," said Azarov whose country had refused to pay the bill in 2012.
Ukraine has adopted a number of measures to reduce energy dependence on Russia, and it needs funds from the state budget, the prime minister added.
Russia on Jan. 25 demanded that Ukraine pay 7 billion dollars for failing to import the contracted amount of gas.
Under the contract between Ukrainian state-run Naftogaz and Gazprom in 2009, Ukraine agreed to buy 52 billion cubic meters of gas per year or pay for a minimum of 80 percent of that volume, regardless of the actual amount taken.
Kiev, which currently pays 432 dollars per 1,000 cubic meters of gas, reportedly imported 24.9 billion cubic meters from Russia in 2012.