Gazprom postpones Ukraine gas ultimatum

Russian energy firm delays imposing pre-payment regime for deliveries until June 9 after country pays $786m of its debt.

Last updated: 02 Jun 2014 10:00
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Gazprom has warned it may halt shipments to Ukraine unless its bills are paid [AFP]

Gazprom, Russia's state-owned natural gas producer, has pushed back its ultimatum to Ukraine on imposing pre-payment for natural gas deliveries after the country paid $786m in arrears, according to the company's chief executive Alexei Miller.

The company had said previously that it would from Tuesday deliver only gas that had already been paid for, raising the prospect of supplies to Ukraine being cut off immediately and disruptions in onward gas flows to Europe.

"Ukraine has paid the first instalment for gas supplies. Today $786m entered Gazprom's account," Miller was quoted as saying in a company statement on Monday.

"We welcome Ukraine starting to pay back its debt and postpone the pre-payment regime until June 9.

"The introduction of the pre-payment regime will depend on the full repayment of the debt for gas supplied up to April 1 in the amount of $2.237bn, part of which was paid today, and on the progress in payments for April and May supplies."

A third dispute over natural gas between the two countries erupted when Moscow nearly doubled the price it charges its neighbour for the fuel following removal of pro-Russia Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich from his post pro-EU mass protests.

Yanukovich rejected an EU trade deal over a loan from Russia.

Russian natural gas transits through Ukraine supply about 15 percent of European needs and Guenther Oettinger, the EU mediator, has been urgently seeking a compromise to save 18 member states from seeing their deliveries start dwindling.

Gazprom now says it is willing to discuss a lower price and analysts believe that a compromise is in sight because Russia would prefer to avoid complicating its relations with Europe further.


Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
UNHCR says hundreds of people trapped in Yaloke town risk death if they are not evacuated to safety urgently.
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Long-standing dispute over Christian use of the word 'Allah' raises concerns about a very un-Merry Christmas.
The threat posed by ISIL has prompted thousands of young Kurds to join the PKK.
Baja California - with its own grim history of disappeared people - finds a voice in the fight against violence.
Russian feminist rockers fight system holding 700,000 - the world's largest per capita prison population after the US.
Weeks of growing protests against Muslims continue in Dresden with 15,000 hitting the streets last Monday.