MOSCOW, June 7 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia’s national gas utility Gazprom has signed an agreement with Ukraine’s Naftogaz to issue an advance payment worth two billion U.S. dollars for Russian gas transit via Ukraine.
“The agreement is principally important to ensure the filling of Ukraine’s underground gas storage facilities ahead of the 2012-2013 autumn-winter period,” Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller told journalists on Thursday.
“It is good news for our European partners, for our clients, since full storage facilities in Ukraine are a safe guarantee of Russian gas transit in the winter. Ukraine has been granted all necessary funds to fill its storages,” he stressed.
The Gazprom CEO announced the company’s plans to make an advanced payment for the transit of Russian gas through the Ukrainian territory to form that country’s financial reserve for pumping gas to its underground storage facilities on June 4. In his words, it would allow Ukraine to use around two billion dollars that Gazprom should pay Ukraine for the gas transit until the end of 2012 to buy gas and pump it into its storage facilities.
It is still unclear how much gas is necessary to pump into Ukraine’s underground gas storage facilities, as Gazprom does not know how much gas from the current imported volumes is intended for Ukraine’s domestic demand, Miller then said.
He underlined that there are no guarantees for non-stop gas exports to Europe through Ukraine’s territory if Ukraine’s storage system is not filled with gas.
Experts say two billion U.S. dollars will be enough to buy some four billion cubic meters of gas.
Miller emphasized that this scheme envisages no gas export discounts.