MOSCOW, April 15 (RIA Novosti) – Ukraine is to start importing natural gas via Poland as soon as this week, Ukraine’s UNIAN news agency reported Tuesday, citing an order that has allegedly been placed with the Polish gas transport firm Gaz Systems.
According to UNIAN, Gaz Systems is planning to deliver around four million cubic meters of natural gas to Ukraine as early as Wednesday, the maximum volume of gas that Poland’s Hermanovice hub can pump, the report said.
Poland was the first country to provide Ukraine with European gas in November 2012, before it stopped transport following Moscow’s offer of a 30-percent discount to Kiev, UNIAN reported.
Russia recently refused to continue supplying Ukraine with discounted natural gas. Ukraine’s energy chief, Yuri Prodan, has said that the country can make do this year with only 15 billion cubic meters of gas from Russia.
Recent developments surrounding Russian gas supplies to Ukraine point to a troubling trend in the country's debt repayments. As of April 8, Ukraine's debt for gas to Russia’s Gazprom stands at $2.2 billion, but by the end of the year it may increase by $5-6 billion, Alexey Miller, the head of Gazprom told reporters Saturday.
In December, the gas price for Ukraine stood at $268.5 per thousand cubic meters. On April 1, Gazprom increased gas prices for Ukraine to $385.5 as Kiev had reneged on its contract by failing to pay its gas bills.
Beginning April 3, Moscow withdrew a further $100 discount, which the crisis-laden Ukraine had earlier received on the condition that Russia’s Black Sea Fleet could stay in the Crimean port of Sevastopol, now Russian territory.
The end of the two discounts bumped the price to nearly $500 per thousand cubic meters. The authorities in Kiev have previously stated that $268 is the acceptable price.