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Russian energy minister: Ukraine must use some of its IMF loan to repay gas debts

May 02, 2014, 21:27 UTC+3 WARSAW
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WARSAW, May 02. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine should use a part of the loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to repay its debts for Russian gas supplies, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told a news conference on Friday after talks with Ukraine’s parliament-appointed Minister of Energy Yuri Prodan and European Commissioner for Energy Gunter Oettinger.

He noted that Ukraine had said nothing about when it was going to pay for Russian gas. “Our Ukrainian colleagues did not say anything about when they would pay for the gas the already received and they will receive later,” he said. “Our Ukrainian colleagues didn’t tell us what sum from this loan would be used to repay the debts to remedy the crisis situation,” he noted, adding that he thought that Ukraine should use some part of this money to repay its current debts and to pay for gas supplies.

Ukraine’s gas debts to Russia have already reached 3.5 billion U.S. dollars. The sum has increased by 1.3 billion U.S. dollars over one past month. “Ukraine has been paying nothing for gas supplies over more than two months and this fact is telling negatively on the financial standing of the supplier - Gazprom,” Novak said. Under the current contract, if no payment is made for gas supplies within a month, Gazprom has the right to demand advance payment. If the preliminary bill is not paid till May 31, Gazmprom will have a possibility to limit gas supplies to the amount paid for by May 31, he noted.

According to earlier reports, the first tranche of 3.2 billion U.S. dollars out of the 17-billion U.S. dollar IMF loan is to be transferred to Ukraine by the end of this week.

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