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EU offers Kiev to repay half of April-May debt amid price wrangle

May 28, 2014, 18:52 UTC+3
Russia and Ukraine have officially settled all disagreements over the price for gas supplied between November 2013 and March
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© ITAR-TASS/Vitaly Grabar

BRUSSELS, May 28. /ITAR-TASS/. The EU has proposed Ukraine to repay half of its debt for gas supplies in April-May until Moscow and Kiev agree upon a new gas price, EU Commissioner for Energy Gunther Oettinger said Wednesday after a round of the trilateral Russia-Ukraine-EU consultations on gas issues.

Russia and Ukraine have officially settled all disagreements over the price for gas supplied between November 2013 and March, when it stood at $268 per 1,000 billion cubic meters, Oettinger said. However, Kiev still insists that the price for April-May, after Gazprom cancelled all discounts for the country and set the price at $500, is unfair.

Ukraine may repay at least $2.5 billion of its $3.5 billion debt for Gazprom gas supplies, Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak said late Monday on the sidelines of the gas talks, while Ukraine’s Energy Minister Yuriy Prodan said that Ukraine will agree to repay the debt only after Gazprom sets the price “close to the market price”.

The European Commission’s estimate of the Ukraine’s gas debt stands at about $4 billion, Oettinger said.

 

Alternative gas supply routes

Oettinger said that the EU will not introduce limits against Russian investments in the European power industry.

The EU is engaged in negotiations with Turkmenistan and Iraq over their participation in the Southern Gas Corridor pipeline which runs from the Caspian Sea and is a competitor of the South Stream pipeline run by Russia’s Gazprom, Oettinger said.

According to Oettinger, Turkmenistan and Iraq could boost the overall gas supplies via the pipeline by about 10 billion cubic meters annually.

The European Commission is still considering introducing a united gas price for the EU or a united gas purchase system, Oettinger said.

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