The new gas deal with Russia offering Ukraine a 30% discount on the price of Russian natural gas supplies will help Naftogaz to avoid bankruptcy, the Ukrainian national energy company said in a statement on Thursday.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yanukovych agreed during their meeting on Wednesday in Kharkov in east Ukraine that Russia would grant Ukraine a 30% discount on the gas price of $330 per 1,000 cu m over the next ten years.
The new gas deal will enable Ukraine to save up to $40 billion over the next 10 years at the expense of the Russian budget.
In return, Ukraine agreed to extend the lease of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in the Crimea for 25 years after 2017 when the current lease agreement expires.
The new gas deal has also eliminated provisions on penalties, which constantly posed a threat to Naftogaz.
The Ukrainian energy operator, which purchases Russian natural gas for Ukrainian consumers said it had accrued debts worth billions of U.S. dollars in 2008-2009, and had been sustaining losses ever since to make settlements with creditors.
"The decisions made on reducing the price pressure on the company are momentous as they help avoid the bankruptcy of the national shareholding company Naftogaz of Ukraine - an employer for hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian citizens in all the regions of the country," the statement said.
MOSCOW, April 22 (RIA Novosti)