Ukraine owes $1.5 bln for Russian gas, ready to repay

New Ukrainian authorities are ready to repay the country’s U.S. $1.5 billion debt for gas supplies to Russia, Fuel and Energy Minister Yury Prodan said Monday, as cited by local news agency UNN, RIA Novosti reported.

“We have a debt of around $1.5 billion left by the previous government,” Prodan said. Ukraine will continue to redeem its debt depending on the state of its budget, he said, adding that Kiev cannot repay the entire debt immediately.

Prodan also said that Kiev would soon pay $400 million for gas supplied in February.

Reuters earlier reported citing sources in the industry that Ukrainian energy company Naftogaz Ukrainy cut its gas imports by over five times in February to 28 million cubic meters per day as of February 24.

Russian gas giant Gazprom’s spokesperson Sergei Kupriyanov said earlier in March that Ukraine’s debt reached $1.549 billion, and the country may lose the existing discount for gas.

In late 2013, Gazprom and Ukrainian energy company Naftogaz Ukrainy agreed to cut gas price by around 30% to $268.5 per 1,000 cubic meters.

Prodan also said that Ukraine’s gas reserves in its underground storage facilities fell to around 9.2 billion cubic meters from around 13.1 billion cubic meters as of January 12.

SOURCE: Prime, 2014

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