BOCHAROV RUCHEI, February 8 (RIA Novosti) – Ukraine will receive the second tranche of Russia’s $15 billion in financial aid only after it pays its gas arrears, the Russian finance minister said Saturday.
“We are waiting for the Ukrainian side to pay its gas bill, quite a hefty one. The payment was due in late January, but hasn’t been made to date,” Anton Siluanov said.
The minister said Russia was to receive $2.7 billion from Ukraine by January 25 under a repayment plan for debts accumulated in previous years.
“As far as I know, this year’s gas payments have been made according to schedule,” Siluanov said.
Crisis-hit Ukraine currently owes Russia about $3.3 billion in unpaid natural gas bills, Russia’s state-owned gas monopoly Gazprom said Monday, in an apparent reminder that the long-running dispute over fuel supplies has not been solved by a recent price cut agreement.