The government of Ukraine and the Naftogaz Ukraine national energy company have decided to begin the process of filing a lawsuit against the Russian company Gazprom. Prime Minister Arsenii Yatseniuk announced this at a news briefing in Kiev on Monday, the Interfax Ukraine news agency reports.

"The government of Ukraine and Naftogaz Ukraine itself have decided to start the process of filing a lawsuit against the Russian company Gazprom. The Russian monopolist was sent a pre-arbitration note today," he said after a meeting of the National Security and Defense Council.

Yatseniuk explained that under the relevant contract, Gazprom must provide a clear response to the issues raised by the Ukrainian side within 30 days.

"The first is the issue of price: we are insisting that the price that was set for Ukraine from the beginning of 2014 (USD 268.5 per thousand cubic meters) is the market price, and we are demanding that this price should remain in place. The second is a number of provisions of the gas contract, and Ukraine is demanding their urgent revision. Thirdly, we are proposing to meet Gazprom on a neutral territory - not in Moscow, but in London - to discuss the pre-arbitration complaints of the Ukrainian side," he said.

The prime minister stressed that Ukraine is ready to pay its gas debt of USD 2.2 billion immediately if the price of USD 268.5 per thousand cubic meters is extended. Otherwise, he said that the country would begin litigation.

"If the relevant agreement is not reached within 30 days, it means that we will move from pre-arbitration settlement to a judicial review of the dispute with Gazprom. We consider our position strong and legal,” he concluded.