KIEV, November 1 (RIA Novosti) — Ukraine may consider cutting off gas supplies to eastern Ukrainian regions, the head of Ukrainian energy company Naftogaz Andriy Kobolev said in his interview with Ukraine's First National TV Channel.
“Possibly, the decision will involve cutting this zone off, possibly – some restrictions,” Kobolev said.
Earlier on Friday, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk proposed to cut off gas supplies to the regions, which are not controlled by Kiev, and said that he plans to discuss this issue with Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko.
Yatsenyuk stated that Kiev does not receive gas payments from these regions, and assured that Naftogaz has all necessary technical capabilities to cut the supply gas off.
On Thursday, Russia, Ukraine and the European Union have signed a so-called winter package agreement, securing gas deliveries to Ukraine for the winter months. The agreement stipulates that Russia resumes gas supplies to Ukraine, following a three-month break in deliveries caused by Kiev's massive gas debt in excess of $5 billion. In its turn, Ukraine agreed to pay $3.1 billion of the debt to Russia by the end of 2014.
Residents of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions proclaimed Luhansk and Donetsk People’s republics, refusing to recognize the new Kiev authorities that came to power in Ukraine after the February coup. Republics declared their sovereignty, based on the results of the referendums held in May.