00:51 GMT13 June 2021
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    Ukraine will have to resume the import of Russian gas to last through the winter season, the country’s energy minister warned on Friday.

    In August, Ukraine had 13 billion cubic meters of gas in its underground storages, six billion short of the 19 billion it needs for the winter season, Coal and Energy Minister Vladimir Demchyshyn said in a newspaper interview on Friday adding that the country would have to turn to Russia to fill the gap.

    The minister said that Ukraine was not ready to pay Russia’s asking price of $247 per 1,000 cubic meters arguing that Kiev wanted to have a fixed price for the entire winter season and a trilateral agreement with the EU — something he said Russia would not go for.

    “What we need now is more than just a low price, but also guarantees that the price will not change throughout the entire heating season, because otherwise we could find ourselves without a contract halfway through the winter season, which would be a real problem for us,” Demchyshyn said.

    He added, however, that he was positive that an agreement would eventually be reached.

    “We are buying nuclear fuel, coal and electricity from Russia… We have to maintain business ties despite the war. We have no other options because, otherwise, we’ll have to cut off heating and electricity,” the minister  admitted.

    Vladimir Demchyshyn said that Kiev could buy reverse gas at $255 per 1,000 cubic meters but did not have the $1.2 billion needed to pay the bill.

    On July 1, 2015, Ukraine, which expected a price of around $200 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas, rejected Moscow’s price offer of $247 and suspended all gas imports from Russia. Right now the country relies entirely on reverse gas supplies from the EU.


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