Russia, Ukraine Reach Temporary Gas Debt Agreement

Russian Economy Minister Aleksander Novak. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Ukraine could transfer USD 2 B to Russia as early as Thursday after the two countries reached a temporary deal on part of Kiev's gas debts.

Under the new agreement, Ukraine is to pay this week most of what it owes for gas supplies between November 2013 and May 2014, as Russia's Economy Minister Aleksander Novak was qoted by Forbes Russia as saying.

An additional sum of USD 500 M is also to be transferred in the coming weeks.

The news was announced after a Berlin meeting of Novak with EU Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger and Gazprom's Deputy Chief Aleksander Medvedev.

According to the Minister, discussions over gas pricing regime applied for Ukraine are still under way. However, he stressed discounts for exports, and not the money paid per 1000 cubic meters, are subject to talks.

Kiev insists that "market prices" be established in its gas trade with the Russian state-owned concern. EU Commissioner Oettinger also maintains price of supplies should be an issue. He hopes further breakthrough is to be reached in talks representatives of the two countries are due to hold on Friday, May 30.

Russia's energy giant Gazprom believes Kiev's debts to the company amount to USD 3.5 B. However, a bitter dispute broke between officials from the two countries after Gazprom increased gas price for Ukraine on April 1 and Kiev officials said the country would not pay its mounting bills.

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