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Ukraine’s stance in gas talks with Russia is ‘blackmail’ – Gazprom CEO

Published time: June 16, 2014 09:28
Edited time: June 16, 2014 12:28
A handout photo released on June 16, 2014 by the Prime Minister press-service, shows Alexei Miller, Head of Russia's Gazprom company, arriving to attend a round of talks in Kiev. (AFP Photo / Andrew Kravchenko)

A handout photo released on June 16, 2014 by the Prime Minister press-service, shows Alexei Miller, Head of Russia's Gazprom company, arriving to attend a round of talks in Kiev. (AFP Photo / Andrew Kravchenko)

Gazprom considers Ukraine’s position a form of blackmail and a method to negotiate an ultra-low price, Aleksey Miller, head of Russia's Gazprom, said on Monday.

“These absurd and unreasonable actions will ultimately hurt the Ukrainian economy, but after the Minister of Foreign Affairs comment last week, I am surprised by very little,” Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said after holding talks with Gazprom head Aleksey Miller and Russia’s Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak.

“Russia is ready to continue gas talks with Ukraine, but only on the condition of debt repayment,” Medvedev said at the meeting, noting Ukraine's outstanding debt of $4.5 billion.

On Monday Gazprom introduced a prepayment system for Ukraine, who is months behind on its gas bills, and in the future will only get natural gas it pays for in advance.

Russia has offered Ukraine a final gas price of $385 per 1,000 cubic meters, but Ukraine has requested an interim price of $326, which was suggested by the EU.

“The terms offered to Kiev on gas were better than those that were given to the Yanukovich government,” Miller said. Under Yanukovich's tenure, Ukraine scored a major discount and imported natural gas for $268.50 per 1,000 cubic meters, which was cancelled after his overthrow and the establishment of a coup-appointed government in Kiev.

“The system for prepaid gas is the result of the Ukrainian government’s unconstructive stance,” Gazprom head added.

Ukraine’s energy minister Yuriy Prodan in turn has confirmed that gas supplies from Moscow to Kiev have been reduced to zero, but insists that deliveries to Europe are safe.

Only 185 million cubic meters of natural gas per day will be transported through Ukraine to European markets, Prodan said.

Ukraine has more than 14 billion cubic meters of gas in underground storage, enough to meet its needs until December, the chief executive of state gas company Naftogaz said on Monday.

Prodan’s comments echo the earlier statements from Gazprom’s spokesperson, who said that as of Monday, Naftogaz, Ukraine’s state-owned gas and oil company, will receive gas only for which prepayment has been made, and since it has paid for nothing, it will receive nothing.

“Volumes of gas for European customers will be fully met in compliance with their contracts. Naftogaz must ensure transportation to the delivery points," Kupriyanov said earlier.

Comments (33)


Avi Aronem 17.06.2014 07:54

So Ukraine's Naftogaz say they have 14 billion cubic metres of gas in storage. That is worth the $4.5 billion that they owe Russia, so they have not paid for that gas, and it is not theirs. They are just thieves.


WL 16.06.2014 22:47

NATO should never have put Ukraine in this position. It is bad for people and companies, in the EU, in Ukraine and in Russia.

I fear a lot of economic and social suffering will be the only real end result.

NAT O needs to back off now. I do not want Canadian tax dollars given to NATO to arm an illegitimate Kiev coup. Canadian tax dollars need to stay in Canada for medicare and public schools.

Th at is no way forward for Ukrainian unity which includes the trational Eastern Russian culture.

It is no way forward for European businessmen whose livelihoods depends on economic relations with Russia.


Z Gus 16.06.2014 22:30

Arnaud Viguié 16.06.2014 19:59

facts are more trustable than words.


1) Russian involvement with Crimea did start in 1783 (Wikipedia)
2) History is recorded longer than since 1783, there are no maybes about it.
3) I was born in one of those countries "liberated" ; by Soviets, but I must admit that at least after 45 years of occupation they've left. The US still occupies countries, threatens and bombs many countries that dares to have a preference for different ideas.
4) Russia did built the largest nuclear power plant in Europe in Ukraine.
5) You didn't quote a single fact.

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