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“We believe that it is impossible to use the figure of $268 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas in our price discussions. That was the price for the first quarter established by a contract that had not been extended. We have the current contract and a price formula fixed in this contract according to which the price is $485. This is the price which can be considered,” Novak told journalists.
“We can discuss discounts on this sum if mechanisms of settling (Ukraine’s) outstanding debt and ensuring Ukraine’s further solvency can be found,” the Russian energy minister added.
“We do not understand the reasons for raising this question. The price of $268 cannot be considered under the current circumstances because it does not match even average European market prices,” Novak explained.
At present, Naftogaz’s debt for Russian gas is valued at $3.5 billion.
Both the European Commission and Ukraine have confirmed the size of Ukraine’s outstanding debt for April 1, 2014.
“The Russian side continues meeting its gas commitments to Ukraine and European consumers,” he said, adding the debt remained unpaid on May 19.
“We said we had not received a single payment in more than two months. We heard both from Ukraine and the European Commission that they confirmed the existing debt both in terms of its volume and price,” Novak emphasized.
“It is not enough to pay the debt to normalise the situation,” Novak said. “We should assess financial and economic performance, and make it possible in the following years to execute regular payments, to pump gas into underground storage facilities in a timely manner and to normalise Ukraine’s economy.”
The minister noted that Russia was ready “to participate in Ukraine’s economic recovery and to contribute to it together with other partners, including the European Union countries”. As for the current situation, Russia “sticks absolutely to its contractual obligations,” he said.