12 June 2014, 19:20

Gazprom won't postpone gas payment deadline for Ukraine anymore

Gazprom won't postpone gas payment deadline for Ukraine anymore

Gazprom (MOEX: GAZP) will not postpone the payment deadline for Ukraine anymore, said CEO, Alexei Miller on Thursday, June 12. The current deadline is 10:00 Moscow time on June 16, when the company should see $1.951 billion (Ukraine's debt as of today) on its books. Otherwise, a switch to an advance payment shcdule will be introduced. During the trilateral consultations Ukraine's gas debt grew by $2 billion, Alexei Miller told reporters.

Naftogaz of Ukraine should pay $1.454 billion for gas supplies in November and December 2013 and show progress in paying for April and May, he said.

Ukraine’s debt had grown by $2 billion during the trilateral consultations between Russia, Ukraine and the European Union, and now Kiev has to pay for 11.150 billion cubic metres of gas supplies to Ukraine to date, Miller said.

He described Ukraine’s position at the talks as "blatant blackmail", "absurd, ultimatum-like and unconstructive".

Miller said the current situation differed from that in 2009 when "Ukraine paid, whereas now it is not paying and is not going to".

He said parliament-appointed Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk had upset the last round of gas talks with his statement that Ukraine would not pay more than $268 per 1,000 cubic metres of gas.

The European Union found Yatsenyuk’s statement inopportune, he added.

Yatsenyuk also said his government was insisting on changes to the effective gas contract. "If gas is a political weapon, then this is a political weapon in the hands of the Russian government. If gas is a commodity, as it is in the rest of the world, we trade on the basis of a contract, not on the basis of whether Russia likes the Ukrainian government or not," he said.

The current price for Russian gas supplies to Ukraine is $485 per 1,000 cubic metres. Ukraine is insisting on the price of $268.5.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak suggested returning to the 2010 agreement under the current contract effective until 2019, which will set the price at $385 per 1,000 cubic metres.

The new price has been in effect since June 1. "The overall debt for the supplies in April and May is $2.3 billion", he said.

Miller said that Ukraine had taken 3.5 billion cubic metres of gas in May and 2.7 billion cubic metres in April.

He went on to say that if Ukraine's Naftogaz files a lawsuit against Russia's Gazprom, Gazprom will countersue in Stockholm arbitration.


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