Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Ukrainian Energy Ministry Not Satisfied With Berlin ‘Winter Plan’ on Gas

The Ukrainian Energy Ministry said Tuesday it had three reasons to object the “Winter Plan” on gas, endorsed by Russia and the European Commission during the ministerial gas meeting in Berlin last Friday.

The plan envisages that Kiev repays of $3.1 billion of its gas debt to Russia and pays in advance to Gazprom for the delivery of five billion cubic meters of gas at the price of $385 per 1,000 cubic meters, with a discount of $100. The plan, intended to reduce risks for transit of Europe-bound Russian gas via Ukraine, is to be in place until late March.

Kiev, however, rejects Russia’s offer of the $100 gas-price discount in the form of an export-duty exemption and wants the contract price to be reduced instead.

Ukraine also wants to agree the debt repayment schedule, as well as terms and schedules of future gas deliveries.

Kiev also insists on amending the current gas contract with Russia in order to formally authorize the reverse deliveries of Russian gas to Ukraine from Europe.

Earlier on Tuesday, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said that Russia is ready for the "Winter Plan" of delivering natural gas to Ukraine and is waiting for Kiev's reaction.

Moscow and Kiev have a long history of disputes over natural gas deliveries. In June, Russia's gas giant Gazprom was forced to introduce a prepayment system for gas deliveries to Ukraine due to Kiev's massive debt which is currently estimated at $5.3 billion.

As Ukraine is not only a consumer, but also a major transit country for Russian gas supplies to Europe, the European Union has repeatedly emphasized the importance of trilateral gas talks, the next round of which is scheduled to take place in Berlin on October 2 and 3.

(RIA Novosti)

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