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Ukrainian parliamentarian accuses Russia of trying to subjugate Ukraine

KYIV. Jan 14 (Interfax) - Russia is in effect trying to assume control over Ukraine's economics and politics, said Anatoly Hrytsenko, the head of the Ukrainian parliamentary committee on national security and defense.

"Russia's strategy on the gas issue is very strong and tough, but it is quite understandable. Firstly, they want to punish Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko for his position on the Russian-Georgian war in the Caucasus, which is unacceptable to Russia, Ukraine's accession to NATO, and the recognition of Holodomor as genocide of the people of Ukraine," Hrytsenko told Ukraine's parliamentary television channel Rada on Wednesday.

Hrytsenko is also accusing Russia of trying to get the EU to support the construction of two gas pipelines bypassing Ukraine.

"The third element is to assume control over our gas transport system, reducing Naftogaz to bankruptcy," he said.

"And lastly, to improve the financial situation of Gazprom, which has recently lost over $170 billion, according to its own estimations," said Hrytsenko, adding that Gazprom suffered considerable losses after the EU cut its energy consumption by some 30% because of the crisis.

"If this strategy is realized, Russia will establish control over our economics and in effect over our politics. We can't let this happen," said the parliamentarian.