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Ukraine’s stance on gas debt repayment may complicate EU financial aid

June 02, 2014, 18:31 UTC+3 BRUSSELS
It may undermine foreign investors’ trust in the new Ukrainian authorities, especially if it causes disruptions in gas supplies to Europe, the diplomat says
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BRUSSELS, June 02. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine’s tough stance on repayment of its gas debt to Russia may complicate prospects for financial aid from Europe, a diplomat from a Western European country told ITAR-TASS ahead of trilateral gas talks between Russia, the EU and Ukraine in Brussels.

“Kiev’s unduly tough stance, expressed in delayed payment for Russian gas deliveries even for January-March, where there are no differences, may undermine foreign investors’ trust in the new Ukrainian authorities, especially if it causes disruptions in gas supplies to Europe,” the diplomat said.

He added that this would also complicate the conditions of providing Ukraine with 8 billion euros fresh credit from the EU's financial institutions - the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Providing financial assistance “is directly related to economic progress Ukraine achieves”, the diplomat said.

Russia confirmed receiving $786.4 million as repayment for part of Ukraine’s gas debt on Monday, the day when Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger and Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuriy Prodan are meeting in Belgium’s capital, Brussels.

This is the fourth round of talks in such format. The parties will discuss Ukraine’s gas debt and a scheme for its repayment.

The gas price for Ukraine’s state energy company Naftogaz Ukrainy is also on the agenda.

The European Union pledged to provide Ukraine with financial aid of at least 11 billion euros over the next several years. The aid includes 1.6 billion euros in direct loans and 1.4 billion euros in grants from the EU budget and at least 8 billion euros fresh credit from the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

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