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KIEV, November 5 (Itar-Tass) — Ukraine is planning to start paying for Russian natural gas in roubles from November or December, chairman of the National Bank of Ukraine Sergei Arbuzov said.
According to Arbuzov, there is a preliminary agreement on transfer to rouble-denominated settlements. He does not rule out that the "upcoming payment for the supplies of natural gas in October" might be effected in roubles, but most likely, rouble-denominated payments for gas will begin in December.
The National Bank chairman explained that the contracts with Russia would not be amended due to the plans to transfer to rouble payment and that the parties would only sign addenda to the document.
At present, Gazprom and Naftogaz Ukrainy are in talks over the issue, while the finance ministries of the two countries and the national banks of Russia and Ukraine have already discussed the essentials.
Ukraine’s chief banker is confident that there will be no problems with rouble payments. The roubles is a freely convertible currency, so there cannot be questions here, he said.
He is hoping that in the future, both countries will transfer to rouble-denominated settlements not just in gas trade, but also in other fields.
Earlier, Ukraine’s Energy Minister Yuri Boiko said Ukraine might start paying for Russian gas in roubles as early as November.