2 December 2013, 11:34

Ukraine to get cheaper gas if it signs Customs Union commitments – Russian Deputy PM

Russian Deputy PM Igor Shuvalov

Russian Deputy PM Igor Shuvalov

Russian Deputy PM Igor Shuvalov

Ukraine may enjoy gas price discounts if it signs Customs Union commitments, though it’s premature to talk of its readiness to form a common customs space with Russia, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said on Monday.

Earlier, the Ukrainian government suspended preparations for an association agreement with the European Union, fearing a dramatic slump in trade with its key partners – Russia and other CIS member states – a complicated economic situation and significant losses arising from the EU association deal.

Ukraine’s economic difficulties will be best resolved if it chooses integration with Russia, Shuvalov said in an interview last month in Bloomberg News’s Moscow office.

"No one other than Russia can provide Ukraine with the necessary funds so quickly and in such a quantity," Shuvalov said. "A gas agreement could help relieve Ukraine of a huge problem. We can also give them a loan, but we will not help them without commitments on their part."

Ukraine isn’t ready to join the trade pact immediately, Shuvalov said.

At the same time, Ukraine knows that if it signs a commitment to become a member of the customs union like Armenia, which decided in September to join the group instead of striking an EU pact, it will get "a different price for gas," he said.

"We are negotiating in an open and transparent manner with Armenia about our ties and everyone understands that we are giving Armenia a specific price for gas because they are signing the whole package of agreements on the customs union," Shuvalov said.

Voice of Russia, Bloomberg

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