Gazprom's gas price rise is political - Ukraine energy minister

KIEV, April 3 Thu Apr 3, 2014 9:17am EDT

KIEV, April 3 (Reuters) - Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuri Prodan said on Thursday a demand by Russia's Gazprom for Kiev to pay $485 per 1,000 cubic metres of gas had put the price too high and was politically motivated.

The head of Russia's top natural gas producer announced the increase, caused by the introduction of an export duty on gas sales to Ukraine, two days after raising the price to $385.5.

"The Ukrainian economy should not pay such a price for gas. It is a political price," Prodan told reporters in Kiev, and called for talks with Gazprom.

(Reporting by Pavel Polityuk, Writing by Alessandra Prentice, Edting by Timothy Heritage)

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