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22 Apr, 2010 15:23

“Gas deal between Russia and Ukraine is a unique case”- Russian PM

Reviewing the recent deal for a significant discount in gas price for Ukraine, Russian PM Putin said that this is a unique case and jokingly warned other partners against asking Russia for the same concessions.

At the government’s meeting on Thursday, Putin explained how it was possible to grant such a big discount to Ukraine. He said that neither Russian company Gazprom nor its shareholders are going to suffer losses as a result of the deal. The discount will be made at the expense of the country’s budget by abolishing export customs duties.

The PM pointed out that the money Ukraine will save as a result of the agreement will be accumulated in the country and will be seen as Russia’s payment for the presence of its Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol from 2017 and beyond.

Putin stresses that the recent deals on the fleet and gas prices are valuable as they are evidence of the “trust” and “supporting of elbows” between Moscow and Ukraine.

Evgeny Volk, political analyst, thinks that the gas deal is extremely important for Ukraine.

“A top priority for Mr Yanukovich is to improve poor economic performance of his nation. The deep crisis from which Ukraine suffers greatly certainly is very difficult to overcome without Russian assistance, without cheap energy resources,” Evgeny Volk told RT.

Volk calls the recent agreements reached by Medvedev and Yanukovich a compromise, reflecting common ground and differences existing between the countries.

“In this case, I believe, Russia is a winner in a political sense,” says the expert. “Certainly to have military bases in Sevastopol, in Crimea, is a very significant victory for Russia because it prevents Ukraine from joining NATO in short and mid-term prospect,” says Volk.

However, according to Volk, from the economic point of view Russia will have to pay a high price in making significant concessions to Ukraine on gas issue.