MOSCOW, March 03. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s gas giant Gazprom said on Monday it did not rule out possible disruptions of gas supplies to Europe over Ukraine’s political situation.
“Simmering political tensions in Ukraine, that are aggravated by inadequate economic conditions, may cause disruptions of gas supplies to Europe,” the monopoly said in its materials, adding that it would do its utmost to reduce export risks. “We will further invest into other export-oriented projects such as South Stream and will enhance our LNG (liquefied natural gas) production and export capacity. We also increase our access to underground gas storage facilities in Europe.”
Andrei Kruglov, Gazprom’s chief financial officer, said at the moment Russia had been supplying gas to Ukraine according to schedule, although the latter failed to fulfil its debt obligations.
On March 1, Gazprom’s spokesperson Sergai Kupriyanov said the gas holding could cancel its gas supply discount for Ukraine as its overdue debt for gas reached $1.5 billion. This figure includes debts not only for last year’s supplies, but also for the current deliveries.
In late January, Ukraine asked Russia for deferral of payments for gas supplied in 2013 and in early 2014. President Vladimir Putin said Ukraine’s debt totalled $2.7 billion then.