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    Russia Hopes EU Will Help Ukraine Pay for Russian Gas: Senior Diplomat

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    Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Vasily Nebenzya hopes that the European Union will play an active role in implementing the provisions of a protocol on deliveries of Russian gas to Ukraine until March 31, 2015.

    MOSCOW, December 31 (Sputnik) — Moscow is hoping that the European Union will help Kiev pay for deliveries of Russian natural gas to Ukraine, Deputy Foreign Minister Vasily Nebenzya said in an interview with RIA Novosti.

    “We hope that the EU will play an active role in implementing the provisions of a protocol on deliveries of Russian gas to Ukraine until March 31, 2015,” Nebenzya said.

    “We believe that such a role should not be limited to moral support, but include concrete steps to provide financial support to the Ukrainian economy,” the diplomat said.

    Nebenzya stressed that Moscow is fulfilling its part of the gas agreement and has provided Kiev with a discount on gas prices even though this move would affect the Russian budget negatively. “But we consciously took this step to help Ukraine,” the diplomat said. He noted that Moscow also agreed to supply power to Kiev at domestic prices that are lower than those in Ukraine.

    After a six-month break, Russia resumed gas sales to Kiev on December 9 under the so-called winter package, stipulating that Ukraine repays $3.1 billion of its $5.3 billion debt and pays for future supplies in advance.

    Last Wednesday Russian energy giant Gazprom confirmed it had received the final tranche of Kiev's debt repayment.

    The company’s spokesperson said, however, that the issue of further gas supplies to Ukraine remains unsettled as the Russian side has not received any advance payments yet.

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    gas, Vasily Nebenzya, Russia, Ukraine
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