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Russia may grant gas price discount to Ukraine, but contract revision not on agenda

May 28, 2014, 18:00 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Further discussions on Ukraine's gas debt will be held on May 30

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Russia's Energy Minister Alexander Novak

Russia's Energy Minister Alexander Novak

© AP Photo/Alik Keplicz

MOSCOW, May 28. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia may grant a gas price discount to Ukraine, but revision of the gas contract is not on the agenda, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said at a government meeting chaired by President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday.

“Upon receiving a first tranche (payment for gas supply) that should be transferred before May 30, we are prepared to continue talks. We agreed to discuss our further actions on Friday, May 30, including possible variants of the price for future gas supplies. First and foremost, I mean that only a gas price discount may be considered, but not revision of the 2009 contract terms,” Novak said.

Ukraine has acknowledged these contracts and the contracts themselves are not disputed, Novak said.

“It is difficult to dispute them because they were signed by the Ukrainian side, by the same people who are still in power, and these contracts have been executed since 2009. It is simply ridiculous to put them into question,” the energy minister said.

The European Commission supported Russia in the latest round of gas negotiations, the head of the Russian Energy Ministry said.

“The Ukrainian side took a pause to hold additional consultations with its leadership until Thursday. Today is the last day when Ukraine should inform the European Commission and Russia about its decision,” Novak said.

In the course of three-party consultations held on Tuesday, the sides discussed gas deliveries to Ukraine, gas transit to Europe and payments for gas supplies in the context of the financial and economic situation in Ukraine, the Russian energy minister said.

“The Ukrainian side confirmed the existence of the undisputed debt as of April 1 for the period from November to March totaling $2.24 million,” Novak said.

“As a compromise, we proposed a scheme jointly with the European Commission, under which Naftogaz of Ukraine should transfer $2 billion to Gazprom by May 30 and another tranche of $500 million by June 7,”the Russian energy minister said.

“This is partial payment for the gas delivered from November to April inclusive and on June 7 a partial payment for May deliveries should already be made. The two tranches will total $2.5 billion,” Novak said.

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