Ukraine, Russia fail to reach gas deal -NHK WORLD English-

Energy ministers from Ukraine and Russia have failed to settle the dispute over the price of natural gas Moscow provides.

Russia raised the price in April and warned that it will turn off the tap unless Ukraine settles the delayed payment.

The energy ministers met in Brussels on Wednesday to seek a compromise. The meeting was brokered by the European Union.

After the talks, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said his country will push back the deadline of the negotiations until Monday. He said he offered a price of 385 dollars per 1,000 cubic meters of gas. That's 100 dollars lower than the previous offer.

Ukraine's Energy Minister Yuri Prodan said he rejected the offered price discount, because it is not enough and Moscow could cancel it for political reasons.

European Union Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger was involved in the talks. He called on both sides to compromise further to reach an agreement by the deadline.

Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed displeasure over Ukraine's rejection during a meeting with Cabinet ministers on Wednesday.

Putin said it's not clear on what basis Ukrainians want more reductions. He added that they appear to be trying to drive the issue into a dead end.

Putin also said Russia's proposals offer more than a partnership aimed to support the Ukrainian economy during its difficult period.

He added that if the proposals are rejected then the 2 countries will move into a completely different stage.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk also expressed displeasure with Russia's offer.

Yatsenyuk told Cabinet ministers on Wednesday that the discount is set by Moscow but could be cancelled by it as well. He said he knows these Russian traps.

He said it's clear gas is a political weapon in the hands of the Russian government.

Jun. 11, 2014 - Updated 23:14 UTC

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