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Russian energy minister: No written guarantees of payment gas debts from Ukraine

October 30, 2014, 6:25 UTC+3
Tripartite gas talks between Russia, the European Union and Ukraine will be continued in the evening on October 30
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Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak at a trilateral energy meeting with Ukrainian Energy Minister and EU commission at the EU commission headquarters in Brussels

Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak at a trilateral energy meeting with Ukrainian Energy Minister and EU commission at the EU commission headquarters in Brussels

© EPA/OLIVIER HOSLET

BRUSSELS, October 30. /TASS/. Ukraine has issued no written guarantees of payment of its gas debts and advance payment for further gas supplies, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Thursday.

“It was announced today that Ukraine will find funds, that it has had talks with the European Commission and international financial organizations,” he told journalists. “We were told that Ukraine would find funds to ensure advance payment four billion cubic metres of gas. But these were mere words but not guarantees of the Ukrainian side. Since, as you see, no written guarantees were offered, risks about whether they have money or not are to be equalized by the advance payment regime. You pay money - you have gas.

Tripartite gas talks between Russia, the European Union and Ukraine will be continued in the evening on October 30.

“I would like to say that the talks are not yet over,” he told journalists. “The discussion of documents to be prepared after the talks was long and they yet not ready. We agreed to continue our work tomorrow. I can say that key parameters to be the basis of these documents have been agreed. Agreements have been reached on the price, as we said earlier, on the debt rescheduling mechanism, on advance payment, on our partners’ request for certain volumes of gas in November-December. Now, it is technical work on the documents to be signed.

The talks began on Wednesday evening to go on for more than 12 hours.

Earlier on Wednesday, the European Commission cancelled an official news conference saying the talks’ result might be known at 08:30 local time (10:30 Moscow time) if the sides finally reached agreement.

The news conference however was once again postponed till Thursday evening and will depend on whether Ukraine and the European Commission manage to reach an agreement on finding gas supplies, a representative of the Russian energy ministry said.

The talks involving European energy commissioner Guenther Oettinger, Ukraine’s Minister of Energy and Coal Industry Yuri Prodan, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, and CEOs of Russia’s Gazprom and Ukraine’s Naftogaz are to yield an agreement on temporary procedure of gas supplies to Ukraine till late March 2015. The agreement is supposed to include terms of Ukraine’s repayment of gas debts to Gazprom, a gas price of 385 U.S. dollars per 1,000 cubic metres to be used over this period and gas volumes Ukraine will need.

The central, most pressing problem is to find sources of financing or issue financial guarantees of Ukraine’s payment for Russian gas.

 

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