The 17 December 2013 Ukrainian–Russian action plan is a treaty between the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych and Russian President Vladimir Putin on 17 December 2013 whereby it was agreed that Russia would buy $15 billion of Ukrainian Eurobonds and that the cost of Russian natural gas supplied to Ukraine will be lowered to $268 per 1,000 cubic metres (this price was more than $400 at the time). The deal relinquished Ukraine's Kerch peninsula to the Russian Navy, granting Russia highly desirable warm-water ports and strategic access to the Mediterranean and beyond. The treaty was signed amid massive, ongoing protests in Ukraine for closer ties between Ukraine and the European Union. The interest rate on the loan is renegotiated every three months, based on a verbal agreement between the two leaders.
Mid-August 2013 Russia changed its customs regulations on imports from Ukraine.[nb 1] Ukrainian Industrial Policy Minister Mykhailo Korolenko stated on 18 December 2013 that because of this Ukraine's exported had dropped by $1.4 billion (or a 10% year-on-year decrease through the first 10 months of the year). The State Statistics Service of Ukraine reported in November 2013 that in comparison with the same months of 2012 industrial production in Ukraine in October 2013 had fallen by 4.9 percent, in September 2013 by 5.6 percent and in August 2013 by 5.4 percent (and that the industrial production in Ukraine in 2012 total had fell by 1.8 percent). In June 2010 (a few months after the 2010 Ukrainian–Russian Naval Base for Natural Gas treaty), Ukraine paid Gazprom (the Russian government controls 50.002% of shares in Gazprom) around $234 per 1,000 cubic metres of natural gas. In January 2013 Ukraine paid $430 per 1,000 cubic metres. And at the time of the 17 December 2013 agreement Ukraine still paid more than $400. Since August 2011 Ukraine seeks to reduce imports of Russian natural gas by two-thirds (compared with 2010) by 2016. Natural gas is Ukraine’s biggest import at present and is the main cause of the country’s structural trade deficit.
On 21 November 2013 a Ukrainian government decree preparations for signing an Association Agreement and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with the European Union (EU). Despite that in the months before Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych had urged the parliament to adopt laws so that Ukraine would meet the EU's criteria. On 25 September 2013 Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine's parliament) Volodymyr Rybak stated that he was sure that his parliament would pass all the laws needed to fit the EU criteria for the Association Agreement since, except for the Communist Party of Ukraine, "The Verkhovna Rada has united around these bills".
The reason given for the (stop preparations for signing EU-agreement) decree was that the previous months Ukraine had experienced "a drop in industrial production and our relations with CIS countries". The government also assured "Ukraine will resume preparing the agreement when the drop in industrial production and our relations with CIS countries are compensated by the European market". During two years of negotiations, Ukraine did not raise the issue of large, unconditional grants from the EU and IMF until the eve of the Vilnius summit. According to Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov "the extremely harsh conditions" of an IMF loan (presented by the IMF on 20 November 2013), which included big budget cuts and a 40% increase in gas bills, had been the last argument in favor of the Ukrainian government's decision to suspend preparations for signing the Association Agreement. On 7 December 2013 the IMF clarified that it was not insisting on a single-stage increase in natural gas tariffs in Ukraine by 40%, but recommended that they be gradually raised to an economically justified level while compensating the poorest segments of the population for the losses from such an increase by strengthening targeted social assistance. The same day IMF Resident Representative in Ukraine Jerome Vacher stated that this particular IMF loan is worth US$$4 billion and that it would be linked with "policy, which would remove disproportions and stimulated growth".[nb 2]
The decision to put off signing the EU Association Agreement lead to massive, ongoing protests in Ukraine (for closer ties between Ukraine and the EU) that began in the night of 21 November 2013 when up to 2,000 protesters gathered at Kiev's Maidan Nezalezhnosti. And that had risen to 400,000–800,000 protesters demonstrating in Kiev on the weekends of 1 December and 8 December 2013.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yanukovych held the sixth "interstate consultation" on 17 December in Moscow. Yanukovych flew to Moscow on the private jet airliner of Ukrainian oligarch (and alleged financier and chieftain of Yanukovych's Party of Regions) Rinat Akhmetov. After the meeting Yanukovych stated "We've prepared a joint action plan to resolve trade and economic restrictions, a so-called road map that will significantly improve performance in this area" and added this would benefit the entire sectors of the economies of the two countries. "Favourable conditions for the about 1.5 million people from Ukraine that are working in Russia" were also discussed. According to President Putin and Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov this deal was "not tied to any conditions" and Ukraine's possible accession to the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia was not addressed. Peskov also added "it is our principled position not to interfere in Ukraine's affairs" and accused other countries of doing the opposite. According to President Yanukovych the trade situation between Russia and Ukraine required urgent intervention, and that it should be coordinated with other Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries. He also added referring to Russia–Ukraine relations, "We'll have to learn lessons for the future and not to repeat such mistakes". And President Yanukovych also stated that Ukraine and Russia should strengthen cross-border and inter-regional cooperation "which create convenient conditions for the people".
The next day Prime Minister Mykola Azarov stated that without the deal with Russia "bankruptcy and social collapse would have awaited Ukraine". He also added that there was no way Ukraine could have signed the EU Association Agreement as Ukraine would have had to accept unfeasibly stringent IMF conditions for economic reform. The protest on Maidan Nezalezhnosti continued on 18 December 2013. He also stated "Nothing is threatening stability of the financial-economic situation in Ukraine now. Not a single economic factor".
On 19 December 2013 Russian President Putin stated about the (which he described as an “act of brotherly love”[nb 3]) 17 December deal between Russia and Ukraine “This is not at all linked to (protests at) Maidan, nor with the EU-talks that Ukraine leads… We’re just seeing that Ukraine is in dire straits and we should support her".
The "joint action plan" consists of the Russian National Wealth Fund buying $15 billion of Ukrainian Eurobonds and the cost of Russian natural gas supplied to Ukraine lowered to $268 per 1,000 cubic metres (this price was $400). The discount in gas is contingent upon a quarterly review which must be approved by both parties, upon which Russia reserves the right to rescind the discount. As part of the action plan Russia committed itself to the restoration its customs regulations on imports from Ukraine that had existed before mid-August 2013. The lowering of the natural gas price was done by amending the agreement that had ended the 2009 Russia–Ukraine gas dispute. According to President Putin this amendment would enable Gazprom to lower the price of natural gas for Ukraine. The natural gas prices can be reviewed every three months. According to Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov the exact terms of the Russian purchase of Ukrainian Eurobonds will be determined later, but a portion of the Eurobonds, "significantly less, will be placed this year". Siluanov added that the bonds will be placed on the Irish Stock Exchange under English law with 5% interest per bond. The bonds will mature in two years.[nb 4] On 23 December 2013 Siluanov stated that Russia would not be trading the bonds. Russia can demand early repayment of the loan at any time.
Ratification and criticism
On 17 December opposition leader Vitaly Klitschko told the approximately 50,000 people Euromaidan-protest on Kiev's Maidan Nezalezhnosti “He [President Yanukovich] has given up Ukraine’s national interests, given up independence and prospects for a better life for every Ukrainian”.
On 18 December 2013 BBC News reported that the deal "will not fix Ukraine's deeper economic problems" in an article called Russian bailout masks Ukraine's economic mess. The same day The Financial Times noted that the treaty could be bad for Gazprom, which was already planning to cut its overall investment in 2014, "With an additional burden from Ukraine, the state firm may be even less able to serve as a motor for Russia’s sluggish economy".
Delays of implementing agreement
Russian President Putin told his Dmitry Medvedev's Cabinet on 29 January (and just after the resignation of the second Azarov Government) that “it’s reasonable” to wait until a successor cabinet was installed in Ukraine before extending more aid to Ukraine. Furthermore, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev stated Ukraine wasn’t paying its natural gas bills even with the lower price, which “seriously changes the situation.” Meanwhile, Serhiy Arbuzov (who had replaced Mykola Azarov as acting Ukrainian Prime Minister) believed Russia would be its second $2 billion tranche “in the nearest future".
Naftogaz Ukrainy blamed the delay in payment of Russian natural gas on a lack of payment of local "enterprises in the heating utilities sector".
On 17 February Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov stated that Russia would release the next US$2 billion tranche of the 17 December 2013 $15 billion loan to Ukraine the same week. But on 18 February Ukraine decides not to issue these $2 billion Eurobond.
The days after the 17 December 2013 agreement (Ukraine's natural gas importer) Naftogaz did cut its imports of Russian gas to a minimum. But on 9 January 2014 Ukrainian Energy and Coal Industry Minister Eduard Stavytsky stated that Ukraine (at that time) will buy only Russian natural gas "because it's currently the most profitable". The same day Naftogaz and Russia's Gazprom signed a supplement to the Russian-Ukrainian gas contract, setting the price of natural gas for Ukraine in the first quarter of 2014 at $268.5 per 1,000 cubic meters. A representative of European Commissioner for Energy Günther Oettinger stated soon after that shipping gas from EU member states represents an opportunity for Ukraine to increase its competitiveness and the security of its natural gas supplies.[nb 5]
On 9 January 2014 Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov stated "at full capacity the program of industrial cooperation with Russia that will give us in the coming years hundreds of thousands of jobs and guarantees for budgets of all levels, which will be a financial base for the development of our domestic market".
On 29 January in response to the resignation of the second Azarov Government, and despite pledging to honor agreements with Ukraine, Russia restarted tight border controls and other restrictions at the border for Ukrainian goods. Russia imposed inspections on 100% of Ukrainian exports to Russia. A government source suggested the customs war with Ukraine was a measure to pressure Ukrainian oligarchs into maintaining a pro-Russian policy vector.
The 17 December 2013 agreement did not stop the approximately 50,000 people Euromaidan-protest on Kiev's Maidan Nezalezhnosti. The opposition leaders vowed to continue their protests, if necessary through New Year and Orthodox Christmas (celebrated on 7 January annually), they repeated their demands for the firing of the second Azarov Government, early presidential and parliamentary elections.
On 20 December high ranking EU-officials stated that the EU is still ready to sign the Association Agreement with Ukraine "as soon as Ukraine is ready for it", that this agreement was also beneficial for Russia and that the EU "is totally not concerned about the fact that Ukraine is signing agreements with Russia". The day before Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski stated "I do not know any formal facts that should say that it is impossible to sign the association agreement between Ukraine and the European Union".
On 19 December Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych had stated "We have decided to pause [on the Association Agreement] to work out on what kind of conditions should be in place for us to sign the Free Trade Zone Agreement [a part of the Association Agreement]. And this answer should be found by the government. There isn’t any contradiction about Ukraine’s course on the [EU] integration issue. Generally, this is not about the integration, this is about economical relations". Although he added "If we talk about the work on the free trade agreement [a part of the EU Association Agreement], this will take us some time, and we still have a lot of uncertainties. Surely, we should see how this will benefit us in the short term, midterm, and long term". He also added that Ukraine may combine the EU Association Agreement with observer status in the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia and the Eurasian Economic Union. According to the Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, Ukraine expects to be granted observer status in the Eurasian Economic Union. "As concerns the Eurasian Union, we filed a written bid in Astana in August this year to consider Ukraine's participation in the Eurasian Union as an observer".
On 29 January and just after the resignation of the second Azarov Government First deputy head of A Just Russia, Mikhail Emelyanov, stated the need to cancel the Ukrainian-Russian Action Plan and it's discount in natural gas, and refuse the redemption of Eurobonds 'if the government will resume Eurointegration'.
- Swedish economist Anders Åslund criticized the agreement, saying "Details will continue to emerge, perhaps pulling the bigger picture into focus, but right now it appears that this deal is heavily one-sided and greatly favors Russia."
- James Sherr, a fellow at the Russian and Eurasian program at London-based think tank Chatham House, and key Western expert on Ukraine and Russia described the deal: "the conditions that Yanukovych has accepted from Moscow perpetuate weakness and subservience. Nothing in the Moscow accords even addresses the causes of Ukraine’s economic disaster."
"While Ukraine has every right to alter its course, Russia has no right to force Ukraine to alter it. The December 1994 Budapest Memorandum obliges all parties to ‘refrain from economic coercion.’ Coercion does not show respect for sovereignty. It is a violation of sovereignty. A number of European leaders are as persuaded as I am that Russia employed economic coercion."
"The Customs Union is yesterday’s story. The new framework will be built on interlocking, inter-sectoral integration, in other words Russian co-ownership and co-management of key sectors of Ukraine’s economy. In 2010, Medvedev presented Yanukovych with precisely such a model, embracing shipbuilding, chemicals, and of course, aerospace, the defense complex and energy, which every Ukrainian president has regarded as a mainstay of national independence. All of this was very public at the time. In 2010, Yanukovych rejected it. Now he has accepted it. There are still questions about details and bigger questions about how much can and will be implemented. But the Russians are very happy. Their conclusion is that ‘Ukraine is now ours’. Azarov can still insist that Ukraine won’t join the Customs Union. But that is now irrelevant. The story has moved on."
- On 20 December 2013 Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov stated that this should be seen as "Russia was trying to defend its interests".
- On 10 December President Yanukovych stated "We will certainly resume the IMF negotiations. If there are conditions that suit us, we will take that path". However, Yanukovych also (once again) stated that the conditions put forward by the IMF were unacceptable "I had a conversation with U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden, who told me that the issue of the IMF loan has almost been solved, but I told him that if the conditions remained... we did not need such loans".
- On 20 December 2013 Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Volodymyr Rybak commented on this statement ""If we are brothers, then I take the money and give it to you as a brother, but when they issue a loan at an interest rate that must be repaid these are economic relations between the two states".
- According to The Financial Times this is a short period; the newspaper literally wrote "The bonds will mature in just two years," and that "International Monetary Fund loans are much cheaper and last longer" 
- Since November 2012 Ukraine was diversifying its suppliers of imported natural gas. On 18 June 2013 Prime Minister Mykola Azarov stated “We currently buy gas from RWE and pump it through Poland, Slovakia and Hungary. This gas costs us less than the Russian gas that we buy on the border with Russia, and RWE sells us the same gas that it buys from Russia”. He also stated that Ukraine annually overpaid Russia US$7 billion for natural gas.
- Russia cuts Ukraine gas price by a third, BBC News (17 December 2013)
- Ukraine to issue Eurobonds; Russia will purchase $15 bln, says Russian finance minister, Interfax-Ukraine (17 December 2013)
- "Ukraine still wants historic pact with EU". Oman Observer. http://main.omanobserver.om/?p=34172. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
Ukraine police dismantle Kiev protest camps, BBC News (9 December 2013)
- Eased Russian customs rules to save Ukraine $1.5 bln in 2014, says minister, Interfax-Ukraine (18 December 2013)
Russia to lift restrictions on Ukrainian pipe imports - Ukrainian ministry, Interfax-Ukraine (18 December 2013)
Russia tightens customs rules to force Ukraine into union, Reuters (15 August 2013)
- Azarov says Russia helped Ukraine in difficult times, Interfax-Ukraine (21 December 2013)
- Decline in industrial production in Ukraine in October 2013 slows to 4.9 percent, Kyiv Post (18 November 2013)
- Russia, Ukraine agree on naval-base-for-gas deal, CNN (21 April 2010)
- "Gazprom's Annual Report 2006" (PDF). Gazprom. 2006. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. http://web.archive.org/web/20070928040608/http%3A//www.gazprom.ru/documents/Report_Eng.pdf. Retrieved 2007-08-15.
- UPDATE 2-Russia threatens to cut Belarus gas supplies Monday, Reuters (18 June 2010)
- Ukraine set to sign landmark $10 billion shale gas deal with Shell, Reuters (24 January 2013)
Shell for shale: Ukraine signs major deal, Euronews (25 January 2013)
UPDATE 1-Ukraine signs landmark $10 bln shale gas deal with Shell, Reuters (24 January 2013)
- Ukraine seeks to cut imports of Russian gas, Kyiv Post (30 August 2011)
- Kyiv’s gas strategy: closer cooperation with Gazprom or a genuine diversification, Centre for Eastern Studies (15 July 2013)
- Fitch: Ukraine protests increase pressure on credit profile, Interfax-Ukraine (16 December 2013)
- http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25430980 Russian bailout masks Ukraine's economic mess, BBC News (18 December 2013)
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Ukrainian government issues decree to suspend preparations for signing of association agreement with EU, Interfax-Ukraine (21 November 2013)
Rada votes down all bills on allowing Tymoshenko's medical treatment abroad, Interfax-Ukraine (21 November 2013)
- Cox-Kwasniewski mission to continue until Eastern Partnership Summit, Interfax-Ukraine (21 November 2013)
- EU Commissioner Fule expects Rada to pass European integration bills on November 21, Interfax-Ukraine (20 November 2013)
- Ukrainian president asks for laws to be passed to facilitate EU association agreement, Euronews (3 September 2013)
Ukraine leader urges pro-Europe drive despite Kremlin pressure, Reuters (3 September 2013)
- EU-Ukraine Association Agreement to be signed, Ukraine to go to Europe – speaker[dead link] , Interfax-Ukraine (25 September 2013)
- Ukraine to resume preparing agreement with EU when compensation for production drop found – Boiko, Interfax-Ukraine (21 November 2013)
- "James Sherr: Ukraine ‘is in a dangerous situation’". 23 December 2013. http://www.kyivpost.com/content/politics/james-sherr-ukraine-is-in-a-dangerous-situation-334161.html.
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- MF not insisting on single-stage increase in tariffs, says resident representative in Ukraine, Interfax-Ukraine (7 December 2013)
- IMF links loan amount to Ukraine with reforms, Ukrinform (7 December 2013)
- Ukraine to resume talks with IMF soon, says Yanukovych, Interfax-Ukraine (10 December 2013)
- (Russian) Противники приостановки евроинтеграции Украины в ночи вышли на улицы Киева Opponents of suspension Ukraine's European integration in the night took to the streets of Kiev, NEWSru (22 November 2013)
- (Ukrainian) Post by Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Twitter (21 November 2013)
- (Ukrainian) УВАГА! Збір сьогодні на Майдані Незалежності о 22:30 !!! Watch out! Gather today at Maidan Nezalezhnosti at 22:30!!, Korrespondent.net (21 November 2013)
- Whitmore, Brian (6 December 2013). "Putin's Growing Threat Next Door". http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/12/putins-growing-threat-next-door/282103/.
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- Putin expects to make progress on sensitive bilateral issues during meeting with Yanukovych, Interfax-Ukraine (17 December 2013)
- Action plan for settlement of trade restrictions to deepen Ukrainian-Russian strategic relations, says Yanukovych, Interfax-Ukraine (17 December 2013)
- WikiLeaks: Nation’s businessmen tell tales on each other in chats with US ambassadors, Kyiv Post (15 September 2011)
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- Promoting Party Politics in Emerging Democracies, Routledge, 2011, ISBN 0415594235
- Putin calls for creation of favorable conditions for Ukrainian citizens working in Russia, Interfax-Ukraine (17 December 2013)
- Putin's spokesman: Ukraine's accession to Customs Union was not discussed at Tuesday meeting, Interfax-Ukraine (17 December 2013)
- Russia and Ukraine strike $15bln deal, Al Jazeera (17 December 2013)
- Situation in trade between Russia and Ukraine requires urgent intervention - Yanukovych, Interfax-Ukraine (17 December 2013)
- Yanukovych: Kyiv, Moscow shouldn't replay past mistakes, Interfax-Ukraine (17 December 2013)
- Ukraine, Russia should develop cross-border and inter-regional cooperation - Yanukovych, Interfax-Ukraine (17 December 2013)
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- Anti government protesters in Kyiv reject Ukrainian-Russian pact, Euronews (18 December 2013)
- Nothing threatening Ukraine's economic, financial stability now - PM Azarov, Interfax-Ukraine (18 December 2013)
- Rybak says EU-Ukraine Association Agreement can be signed without FTA, Interfax-Ukraine (23 December 2013)
- Ukraine and nuclear missiles dominate Putin’s annual press address, Euronews (19 December 2013)
- Gazprom lowers gas price for Ukraine 33% to $268.5 per 1,000 cu m, Interfax-Ukraine (17 December 2013)
- Ukraine bailout could derail Putin’s drive to boost Russian economy, Financial Times (18 December 2013)
- (Ukrainian) Росія дає Україні в борг під 5% річних Russia gives Ukraine a loan at 5% per annum, Ukrayinska Pravda (17 December 2013)
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- Russia to pay Ukraine $3 bln for eurobonds on Tuesday - Siluanov, Interfax-Ukraine (23 December 2013)
- Russia can call in Ukraine loan if situation warrants - Shuvalov, Interfax-Ukraine (23 December 2013)
- Putin: Russia to buy $15 billion in Ukraine bonds, USA Today (17 December 2013)
- Ukraine opposition leader condemns Russia bailout deal, The Irish Times (17 December 2013)
- Ukraine at Impasse on Amnesty After Russia Warns on Aid , Bloomberg L.P. (30 January 2014)
- Ukraine asks for payment deferral on past, new gas deliveries; negotiations needed - Medvedev, Interfax-Ukraine (29 January 2014)
- Ukraine's Naftogaz warns over Gazprom payments due to heating utility indebtedness, Interfax-Ukraine (3 February 2014)
- Russia to buy eurobonds worth $2 bln from Ukraine this week - Siluanov, Interfax-Ukraine (17 February 2014)
- Ukraine decides not to issue eurobonds worth $2 bln, says ISE, Interfax-Ukraine (21 February 2014)
- Russia buys 1st tranche of Ukrainian bonds for $3 bln - PM, Interfax-Ukraine (24 December 2013)
- Ukraine, Russia to discuss easing some safeguard measures in trade in H1 2014, Interfax-Ukraine (20 December 2013)
- Ukrainian wagons, Roshen sweets to return to Russian market in early 2014, says Russian economy ministry, Interfax-Ukraine (20 December 2013)
- Naftogaz cuts imports of Russia gas to minimum after signing of new gas price deal, Interfax-Ukraine (23 December 2013)
- Ukraine to buy only Russian gas due to advantageous price - energy minister, Interfax-Ukraine (9 January 2014)
- Naftogaz, Gazprom sign supplement to gas contract, set gas price for Ukraine in Q1, 2014 at $268.5 per 1,000 cubic meters - Stavytsky, Interfax-Ukraine (9 January 2014)
- Brussels notes that gas shipments from EU ensure Ukraine's competitiveness, supply security, Interfax-Ukraine (9 January 2014)
- Naftogaz to buy 18 b cubic meters of gas from Gazprom in 2014, says Bakulin, Interfax-Ukraine (13 June 2013)
Naftogaz Ukrainy buys 320-350 mcm of gas from Gazprom in May, says Stavytsky, Interfax-Ukraine (13 June 2013)
German RWE ready to supply gas to Ukraine via Slovakia, Interfax-Ukraine (14 June 2013)
Ukraine hopes for diversification of gas supply sources and emergence of new suppliers, Interfax-Ukraine (17 June 2013)
Ukraine to continue diversification of energy supplies, says president, Interfax-Ukraine (30 August 2013)
- Azarov: Russian gas from RWE costs Ukraine $100 less than gas bought on border with Russia, Interfax-Ukraine (18 June 2013)
- Ukraine has to bring industrial cooperation program with Russia up to speed in Feb - PM, Interfax-Ukraine (9 January 2014)
- EU offer to Ukraine is long-term, says Rompuy, Interfax-Ukraine (20 December 2013)
- EU reiterates sovereign right of states to make their own decisions without external pressure, Interfax-Ukraine (20 December 2013)
- EU-Ukraine partnership treaty not to infringe on Russia's interests, says EU Council president, Interfax-Ukraine (20 December 2013)
- EU to sign association agreement with Ukraine as soon as Ukraine is ready for it - Rompuy, Interfax-Ukraine (20 December 2013)
- EU not concerned about Ukraine's signing agreement with Russia, says Barroso, Interfax-Ukraine (20 December 2013)
- Polish foreign minister sees no obstacles to signing EU-Ukraine partnership treaty, Interfax-Ukraine (19 December 2013)
- Ukraine’s Yanukovych explains Russia and EU ties status, criticises Western politicians, Euronews (19 December 2013)
- Yanukovych: Still too many uncertainties in association agreement with EU, Interfax-Ukraine (19 December 2013)
- Association with EU compatible with Ukraine's observer status in Customs Union - Yanukovych, Interfax-Ukraine (19 December 2013)
- Ukraine seeking observer status in Eurasian Economic Union - Yanukovych, Interfax-Ukraine (19 December 2013)
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