Russia's Gazprom says Ukraine will owe $5.2 billion as of June 7

MOSCOW Wed May 28, 2014 9:18am EDT

Related Topics

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Ukraine will owe Russia about $5.2 billion for natural gas as of June 7 if it makes no payments by that date, the CEO of state-controlled Russian gas exporter Gazprom, Alexei Miller, said on Wednesday.

Gazprom says Ukraine now owes more than $3.5 billion, and has threatened to stop supplying the neighboring former Soviet republic with gas if it fails to make a pre-payment for June supplies by June 2.

Miller told President Vladimir Putin that Ukraine would consume a total of 3.5 billion cubic meters of Russian gas in May worth around $1.7 billion, increasing Kiev's gas debt.

"Thus, by June 7, Ukraine's obligations for gas payments will top $5.2 billion," Miller told Putin, repeating Gazprom's position that it will supply as much gas as Ukraine pays for.

Putin responded by saying he hoped "we will not reach a situation when we will have to switch to prepayment".

Russia and Ukraine are fighting over gas prices, with Kiev wanting to change a 2009 contract that locked it into buying a set volume of gas, whether it needs it or not, at $485 per 1,000 cubic meters - the highest price paid by any client in Europe.

Moscow dropped the price to $268.50 after Ukraine's then-President Viktor Yanukovich turned his back on a trade and association agreement with the European Union last year, but reinstated the original price after he was ousted in February.

(Reporting by Darya Korsunskaya; Writing by Steve Gutterman and Katya Golubkova, editing by Elizabeth Piper)

FILED UNDER:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (1)
Nagant wrote:
How about a zero variant? Ukraine drops all claims to Crimea, which it has no chance to wrestle back from Russia anyway, and Russia in response drops all claims to gas debts, which Ukraine has no funds to pay back anyway. This way, negotiations about future gas supply and the status of rebelling Novorossia region can be started from a clean slate.

May 28, 2014 10:02am EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

Full focus