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Issue of EU aid to Kiev to pay off gas debt not discussed — Lithuanian minister

October 20, 2014, 15:45 UTC+3 LUXEMBOURG
Russia estimates Ukraine’s debt for the gas already consumed at $5.5 billion
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LUXEMBOURG, October 20. /TASS/. The EU foreign ministers are not expected to discuss on Monday a possibility of providing an additional aid to Kiev to pay off its gas debt, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius has said.

Answering a question, whether Lithuania supports the possibility of using the additional €2 billion in financial aid that Ukraine has requested from the European Commission, the minister said: “This issue is not being discussed now, I cannot comment on this.”

Russia estimates Ukraine’s debt for the gas already consumed at $5.5 billion.

At the summit of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in Italy’s Milan, President Vladimir Putin said that Russia is ready to reconsider the sum offering a $100 discount on each 1,000 cubic meters of gas. Thus, the debt will stand at $4.5 billion.

Infographics Ukraine’s debt burden Ukraine’s debt burden
August 29, IMF Board of Directors discusses the second tranche for Ukraine amounting to $1.4 billion, which was postponed due to instability in south-eastern Ukraine. The country received the first tranche in April 2014. Earlier, April 30, the IMF approved a two-year credit totaling $17 billion for the support of the economic program. Infographics by ITAR-TASS
Putin said Russia reckons on the EU readiness to help Kiev overcome the cash shortage problem.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said earlier on Monday that Kiev lacks some €1.5 billionand that the European Commission, Germany or France could lend Ukraine the sum for a month and a half.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, in turn, said that Ukraine and Russia had agreed on gas prices for the upcoming winter period. Thus, the gas price for Ukraine will be $385 per 1,000 cubic meters. The deadline for the payment term was fixed on March 31, 2015.

The issue of allocating the EU financial aid to Kiev remains unsolved now. Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek said in Luxembourg that the EU could give Ukraine additional funds only on clear guarantees and if all the international conditions are met.

On October 21, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, his Ukrainian counterpart Yuriy Prodan and EU Commissioner Guenther Oettinger are due to hold a trilateral meeting, to be also attended by the leadership of Gazprom and Naftogaz.

At the meeting the sides are expected to reach an agreement on providing Ukraine with gas and ensuring uninterrupted gas transit via the Ukrainian territory to Europe until the end of winter.

Lavrov said at the moment Russia and Ukraine have agreed on the gas price for the period of five months.

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