Kiev will make a final effort to revise its gas contract with Russia, Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said on Thursday.
"Although we are in talks with our friend Russia which we appreciate very much and with which we want to build normal and equal relations much, we will try again one more time to agree," Azarov told students of the Kiev National University.
"If this does not happen, the responsibility for the consequences will of course fall on those leaders who don't want to listen to our arguments."
Ukraine has been seeking a revision of the 2009 gas deal with Russia since last spring, saying that the gas price formula in the deal is unfair. Russia has tied the price for gas to the international spot price for oil, which rose strongly after the contract was signed but has fallen recently.
Last week Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said the contract must be fulfiled but added discounts were possible if Kiev joined the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan and agreed that acquisition of its Naftogaz energy company by Gazprom.
"Russia tells us 'Join the Customs Union, and then you will get a discount'. But we are saying: 'We don't need any discounts, we need normal agreements under which the price for gas that we buy should be no higher than that for Germany," Azarov said.
The existing contract was signed by former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko who is now on trial for exceeding her authority in signing it.
Ukraine said on Tuesday that it would slash purchases of the blue fuel to 27 billion cubic meters in 2012 from 40 bcm this year. However, Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom said that under the contract, based on a 'take-or-pay' principle, Kiev would have to pay for 33 bcm of gas regardless of actual purchases.