Gazprom Invoices Ukraine's Naftogaz With $5.3Bln for Unused Gas

© Sputnik / Egor Eryomov / Go to the photo bankGazprom's gas distribution station Zapadnaya opened in Belarus
Gazprom's gas distribution station Zapadnaya opened in Belarus - Sputnik International
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Russia's energy giant Gazprom has invoiced Ukraine’s energy company Naftogaz with over $5.3 billion for gas unused by the Ukrainian side under a "take-or-pay" contract in the second, third and fourth quarters of 2016, Gazprom's press service said in a Tuesday statement.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The statement added that the Ukrainian side had to pay the invoice within a 10-day period.

"Within the framework of the contract, an invoice worth $5.319 billion has been sent to Naftogaz," the statement read.

A worker of Russian gas and oil giant Gazprom works on February 18, 2015 in Novoprtovskoye oil and gas condensates oilfield at Cape Kamenny in the Gulf of Ob shore line in the south-east of a peninsular in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District, 250 km north of the town of Nadym, northern Russia - Sputnik International
EU Wont Compensate Loss of Gas Imports Through Ukraine if Gazprom Ceases Transit
Ukraine is a key country for transit of Russian gas to Europe. However, for years Russia and Ukraine have been engaged in gas disputes. In June 2014, Gazprom switched Ukraine to a prepayment system for gas supplies citing its massive gas debt. Ukraine’s Naftogaz appealed to the Arbitration Court in Stockholm, seeking a retroactive revision of its 2009-2019 natural gas transit contract with Russia.

Gazprom previously agreed that the "take or pay" rule, obliging Ukraine to pay for the volume of gas specified in the contract regardless of the real volume of purchases, would be canceled for the fourth quarter of 2015 and the first quarter of 2016 during the cold season in accordance with an agreement reached during trilateral talks between the European Union, Russia and Ukraine in late 2015. The rule came back into force in the second quarter.

In October 2015, Naftogaz said that it was stopping gas purchases from Gazprom citing high prices and stating that any decision to continue to import gas would depend on prices. Ukraine said it had other suppliers in Europe and would only resume purchases if Russian prices fell below EU prices, while Russia said it halted deliveries when Ukraine failed to pay. Following trilateral talks, Ukraine agreed to resume purchasing Russian gas and Gazprom confirmed its willingness to continue supplying Ukraine as well as pumping transit gas through its territory. Ukraine has, however, insisted on scrapping the "take-or-pay" rule.

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