MOSCOW, October 13 (RIA Novosti) - Through his Twitter account, the head of the Russian lower parliamentary house's foreign affairs committee Alexei Pushkov said Monday that the conditions Kiev puts forward in the talks over its gas debt are "absurd".
"Kiev is setting absurd conditions on gas [debt payment] to us by demanding deliveries without advanced payment. No advanced payment means no payment. We've learned it well," the lawmaker stated in a tweet.
Earlier on Monday, Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuriy Prodan said Ukraine is not willing to make any advanced payment for Russian natural gas supplies and insisted on the payments to be made upon the delivery of the gas.
In June, Russia's Gazprom introduced a pre-payment system for gas supplies to Ukraine on account of Kiev's massive gas debt.
In September, Moscow and the European Commission proposed the so-called "winter package" deal according to which Ukraine would have to pay $3.1 billion to Russia as part of its debt by the year-end before the gas deliveries during the winter months at $385 per 1,000 cubic meters would be commenced.
Russia initially insisted that Ukraine pay the first tranche of $2 billion before the deliveries would start.
Earlier on Monday, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said that Russia was ready to offer Ukraine a more flexible schedule against its gas debt payment. According to the proposal, Kiev is to pay $1.45 billion in first installment of the $3.1 billion gas debt that it owes to Russia, with the rest of the debt to be paid by the end of 2014.