Russia has offered Ukraine a 10 per cent discount on gas supplies on the condition that Kiev scraps plans to drastically cut its imports, Kommersant Ukraine newspaper reported on Monday, citing a source close to the talks.
Ukraine has long sought to negotiate a lower price for Russian gas on which it depends heavily for its energy needs. But after failing to do so last year, Kiev has said it would cut gas imports by a third in 2012 to 27 billion cubic metres.
Ukraine, which is paying $416 per thousand cubic metres of gas in the first quarter of this year, sees a fairer price at $250.
In a letter sent to the Ukrainian government last week, Moscow offered it a discount of only 10 per cent, Kommersant’s source said, which is in line with the adjustments it made for several European companies last month.
Kommersant quoted the same source as saying that Russian gas giant Gazprom would not give any further discounts unless it was allowed to buy a controlling stake in Ukrainian gas transit pipelines, which carry the bulk of Russian gas bound for Europe.
A Gazprom spokeswoman declined to comment, noting that there had been no high-level talks between Russian and Ukrainian officials on the gas price in about a month.