Russia Ties Renewal of Supplies to Ukraine's First Chunk of DebtEnergy | October 31, 2014, Friday // 07:45| views
EU Energy Commissioner G?nther Oettinger was representing the bloc in the three-way talks in Brussels. Photo by EPA/BGNES
As soon as Ukraine transfers the first chunk of debt worth USD 1.4 B, Russia will renew gas deliveries, Economy Minister Alexander Novak says.
At a meeting held in Brussels with officials from the outgoing EU Commission, Russia and Ukraine, the two countries' ministers signed an agreement setting the final price of supplies, set to gradually decrease over the next year.
Ukrainian utility Naftogaz will have to pay USD 378 per 1000 cubic meters of gas until end-2014 and USD 365 until March, 2015.
Prices for the same volume was earlier envisaged to drop to USD 285. But Russian news agency RIA says Gazprom will take into consideration the price of oil to set one for gas in 2015.
A source told AFP news agency that Ukrainians "had enough money" to pay off their debt. At the same time Ukraine's Energy Minister Yuriy Prodan announced Kiev would make transfers from an aid fund already set up with the help of foreign contributors, and not directly with EU intervention.
Ukraine will now have to transfer USD 1.451 B in November and the flow of gas will instantly continue, Novak asserted. The next tranche of USD 1.6 B is due until end-December.
Paying off the USD 3.1 B within the next two months will be a prerequisite if Ukraine wants to have stable gas deliveries in January.
Kiev and Moscow have been locked in a gas dispute since this spring, with the former refusing to pay off debts to Gazprom. In June the Russian energy concern introduced prepayment for gas deliveries and halted supplies.
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