Gas talks to resume if Ukraine pays debt: Russia

Gas talks to resume if Ukraine pays debt: Russia

Thu May 15, 2014 1:34AM GMT

Russia says it is willing to resume gas talks with Ukraine if the Eastern European country settles part of its gas debt.

“Nobody ever said: hand over $4 billion straight away, rather (we said) show that you are ready to act… If they pay part of it, that’s the minimum requirement for resuming talks,” Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told reporters on Wednesday.

In response to whether Russia would consider a gas price revision, he said, “Of course it is possible. It’s a question for negotiations.”

Medvedev added that Russia was even ready to sacrifice its own interests to some extent over further gas cooperation, but said the European Union should also persuade Ukraine to allocate some of the money received from the bloc to pay its energy debts.

Ukraine’s state-run gas company Naftogaz has yet to comment on the matter.

Last month, Russia’s energy giant Gazprom increased gas price for Ukrainian consumers to $485 per 1,000 cubic meters from $268 for the first quarter of 2014.

In a letter to 18 European countries on April 10, Russian President Vladimir Putin also warned that Gazprom could be forced to completely or partially cease natural gas deliveries if Kiev fails to pay its debt to Moscow.

Russia provides about half of Ukraine’s and 30 percent of Europe’s total gas demand with key pipelines on the Ukrainian territory.

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