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Medvedev tasks Gazprom to switch Ukraine to gas prepayment

Staff writer |
A working meeting took place among Dmitry Medvedev, Russian Prime Minister, Alexander Novak, Russian Energy Minister and Alexey Miller, chairman of the Gazprom management committee.

Mr. Miller informed Dmitry Medvedev that Ukraine’s total debt for Russian gas, including for the past year, totaled USD 3.508 billion. It was pointed out that Ukraine had made small payments at the beginning of the year, but March and April deliveries hadn’t been paid off. Mr. Medvedev tasked Gazprom to switch Ukraine to prepayment for gas supplies in line with the existing contract.

"Mr. Medvedev, May 7 was the deadline for April gas payments. Ukraine hasn’t paid a dollar for April deliveries, and so far the total debt for Gazprom’s gas supplies to Ukraine amounted to USD 3 billion 508 million. In this context, in physical values, including last year’s debt, Ukraine hasn’t paid for 9 billion 420 million cubic meters of gas, and frankly speaking, this is a very, very large amount.

"This can be compared with Gazprom’s gas supplies to Poland during 12 months. In fact, Ukraine’s non-payment for gas is commensurate with our gas supplies to Poland, for the whole year and free of charge," said Mr. Miller.

"Here’s what I think: enough coddling. Please notify the Ukrainian party and switch to prepayments starting from tomorrow. I think that Gazprom has tried out everything to settle the situation some other way. We have appealed to them, consulted with them several times; you have reported both to me and the President, but it looks like they do not hear us. So, if such is the case, we need to start acting, because it’s impossible to stand this anymore," said Mr. Medvedev.

"What’s going to happen next? I expect you to tell both the media representatives and all the consumers dependent on this supply that… I mean, after switching to prepayments… As you have already said, Mr. Miller, it will mean only one thing, and this is not about halting gas deliveries. We will supply as much gas as they pay for – if they pay 1 euro, we’ll supply gas volumes worth 1 euro; if they pay 1 billion – we’ll supply gas worth 1 billion. We’ll see how this will work," said Mr. Medvedev.

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