Moscow may soon be cutting gas supplies to Ukraine? No worries. Now Kiev – or anyone else – can buy Russian gas on eBay. An enthusiast started an auction at the price of just $1 per 1,000 cubic meters. That price has since jumped to over $1,200,000.
The auction of “piping hot” Russian
natural gas, which started late on Thursday, has gained extreme
popularity in just 24 hours, as eager bidders are continuing to
raise the price. So far there have been 85 bids.
In the description of the gas, the seller urges people to buy the product, saying that the price is even suitable for Ukraine – which has been in the international spotlight for months due to Kiev’s protracted dissatisfaction with Russia’s tariffs.
“Such a low price that suits even the Ukraine!,” the description playfully reads.
Well, Ukraine, hurry! Make your bid! The demand is still rising
and the price is still growing. The starting bid was set at $1,
but has reached $1,200,000 in 24 hours.
The seller urges countries with “economies in crisis” to participate and bid “so you can save even more.”
“Buy Russian natural gas today and provide energy their (sic) little European country to stay warm during long winter evenings.”
Of course bidders should be aware of the shipping costs, which will “depend on the cost of construction of the pipeline to your country.”
The sarcastic auctioneer even attempted to guarantee delivery, despite the troubled situation: “If you do not receive the gas within 30 days, it is possible to cause unauthorized actions of Ukraine. Contact us and we will apply all the necessary sanctions.”
The auction started right after Gazprom CEO Aleksey Miller said
the company would not postpone Ukraine’s gas payment deadline set
for Monday, adding that the gas supplies will be cut off if Kiev
fails to pay.
“If nothing has been paid, nothing will be supplied," Miller said.
Ukraine’s gas debt currently exceeds $4 billion. Ukraine’s Naftogaz is to pay $1.454 billion for gas supplies it received in November and December last year. It must also show progress in paying its April and May debt on Monday, according to Gazprom.
Russia, Ukraine, and the EU have been engaged in trilateral talks in recent months. During the talks, Moscow agreed to give Kiev a discount, at the price of $385 per thousand cubic meters. However, Ukraine is still unsatisfied with the price and wants it lowered to $268.50 per thousand cubic meters. On Friday, Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk warned that following the deadlock in the gas talks, Kiev will be cutting off Russia’s imports starting Monday.