GORKI, June 16 (RIA Novosti) — Ukraine said that if Russia refused to grant Ukraine a 'super-low' gas price, it would tap Russia’s Europe-bound gas for free, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said at a meeting with the Russian Prime Minister Monday.
"Ukraine's leadership and the prime minister said that Gazprom and Russia must grant super-low gas prices for Ukraine, nearly the same as for members of the Customs Union [of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan], otherwise… Ukraine will not pay off its gas debt, will take our gas for free in the amount it needs," he said.
Ukraine stopped receiving gas from Russia on Monday, except for the daily 185 million cubic meters intended for further transit to Europe, after Gazprom had implemented a prepayment plan for the delivery of Russian fuel to Ukraine’s Naftogaz at 10:00 a.m. MSK (06:00 a.m. GMT) due to Naftogaz' $4.458-billion debt.
Starting Monday, the Ukrainian company will only receive the amount of Russian gas it will have paid for in advance. No payments have been received for June preliminary bill, yet, according to Gazprom.
Naftogaz' CEO Andriy Kobolev addressed the European Commission with a request to increase reverse supplies along the Slovakian route.
The latest price proposed by Russia stands at $385, which is the average market price Gazprom offered Kiev after axing a deal to subsidize gas exports to Ukraine.
The gas price for Ukraine surged from $268.5 to $485.50 per 1,000 cubic meters in April after Russia canceled two discounts granted previously to the country.