Astana talks may continue on Wednesday, Syrian opposition saysWorld January 24, 9:14
Syria peace talks in Astana enter second dayWorld January 24, 8:52
China deploys intercontinental missiles near Russian border — mediaWorld January 24, 7:58
Russian army engineers defuse almost 500 improvised explosives in eastern AleppoMilitary & Defense January 24, 6:56
Printing house in Kiev releases map of Ukraine leaving out CrimeaWorld January 24, 4:34
Title for Episode VIII of world’s famous saga ‘Star Wars’ revealedSociety & Culture January 23, 21:19
Russia’s chief negotiator: Astana format gives hope for new level in negotiating processRussian Politics & Diplomacy January 23, 20:52
Astana talks focusing on mechanism of Syria ceasefire observance — oppositionWorld January 23, 20:23
Russia and Turkey hit Islamic State targets near al-Bab in Aleppo provinceWorld January 23, 20:06
Dmitry Peskov said Russia had already decided to postpone until June 9 switching to the pre-payment scheme of gas deliveries and received from Ukraine some part of its debt, which was yet “far from clearing an overall debt.”
“The only obvious thing is that Russian negotiators are displaying flexibility and are trying to find a solution,” Peskov said. “Much would depend on the Ukrainian side.”
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.
Kiev recognizes a debt of $2.237 billion as of April 1, but does not start paying it off because it believes the price should remain at the earlier figure of $268.5 per 1,000 cubic meters, agreed last year when an association agreement with the European Union was shelved in November 2013.
The price rose due to the return to earlier contract agreements, as Ukraine failed to pay for supplied volumes of Russian gas in time and due to denunciation of the Kharkiv Accords with Ukraine in early April, which had been inked in 2010.
The Kharkiv deals stipulated that Russia’s lease of naval facilities in Crimea (then part of Ukraine) would be extended by 25 years beyond 2017 - until 2042. The agreements envisioned a gas supply discount. Now that Crimea has become part of Russia, the discount is no longer applied.Ukraine saw a coup in February, with new people brought to power amid riots as President Viktor Yanukovych had to leave the country citing security concerns. Crimea refused to recognize the new Kiev authorities and seceded from Ukraine to join Russia after a referendum in March.
Despite Moscow’s repeated statements that the Crimean referendum on secession was in line with the international law and the UN Charter and in conformity with the precedent set by Kosovo’s secession from Serbia in 2008, the West and Kiev have refused to recognize Crimea’s reunification with Russia.
Ukraine hopes to annually obtain about 10 billion cubic meters of gas through gas reverse supply schemes from Slovakia, Poland and Hungary.