"As of today, Gazprom has delivered 704 million cubic meters of gas to DPR and LPR [Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics in Donbass]. The debt of Ukraine's Naftogaz for deliveries to these regions stands at $212 million," Miller told reporters.
According to Miller, Naftogaz has asked to stop direct gas deliveries from Russia to Donbass, and refused to pay for them.
"Naftogaz of Ukraine does not answer why gas supplied to Ukrainian territories is not being paid for, it does not supply gas to the region itself, asks us not to provide it, and gives no answer to whether a trader company could sign a direct contract with us on the supply of gas to these areas," he said.
Russia began direct gas supplies to DPR and LPR in eastern Ukraine on February 19, as Kiev refused to deliver gas to these regions, claiming that the resource-transport infrastructure was critically damaged.
Russia's state-owned energy company Gazprom insists that Ukraine pay for these deliveries as they were made in accordance with a long-term contract Gazprom and Naftogaz signed in 2009. However, the Ukrainian side refuses to do so, citing its inability to control the volumes of gas deliveries to Donbas as well as its displeasure that they are being conducted.
In April, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said that if Ukraine’s state-run energy company Naftogaz did not pay for the deliveries of Russian gas to the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, the issue would be taken to court.