Gazprom says unpaid Ukraine gas bills affect budget, dividends

BERLIN, March 13 Thu Mar 13, 2014 10:00am EDT

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BERLIN, March 13 (Reuters) - Gazprom, the state-controlled Russian gas company, said on Thursday it was continuing to deliver gas through Ukraine despite mounting unpaid bills but warned that this was creating holes in its budget for investments and dividends.

Speaking in Berlin, Gazprom Chief Executive Alexei Miller said his company would be within its rights to withhold gas that was not paid for, but was continuing to deliver to ensure there was no risk to deliveries to Europe.

"We want our Ukrainian partners to be solvent. We don't want a gas crisis," Miller said.

"The unpaid bills for gas mean a hole for Gazprom in its investments for the current year. They also mean a hole in our budget plan and a hole in the payment of dividends to our shareholders," he added.

"Among our private shareholders are a large number of foreigners. And these are also their revenues and dividends."

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