“In compliance with the three-party protocol signed between Ukraine, the EU and our neighbors [Russia], I instruct the Finance Ministry, the National Bank and Naftogaz of Ukraine to start the procedure of financial payment as part of this protocol,” Yatsenyuk told a meeting of the anti-crisis energy headquarters.
“This refers both to payment for the supplied gas and additional natural gas pumping until the end of the year,” the Ukrainian premier said.
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told a news conference on Friday that Russia has not received any concrete guarantees that Ukraine's Naftogaz Ukrainy has enough funds to make upfront payments for future Russian gas supplies.
“Ukraine has $3.1 billion on its accounts to repay its outstanding gas debt,” the Russian energy minister went on to say.
Asked about the possibility of direct gas supplies to eastern Ukraine, Novak answered that Naftogaz is the only Russian gas buyer in Ukraine.
Russia and Ukraine reached an interim gas agreement with the EU’s mediation in Brussels on October 30. EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said the deal worth $4.6 billion was the basis for secure energy supplies to Europe in the upcoming winter.
Ukraine will have to pay another $1.65 billion to Gazprom by the end of this year. Russia will supply natural gas to Ukraine, if Kiev makes advance payments.
EU energy commissioner Guenther Oettinger, who is leaving the office on Friday, hopes that the new agreement on gas will help improve relations between Russia and Ukraine.Oettinger said the agreement is the basis for ensuring the European Union’s energy security in winter. He also said that a considerable volume of natural gas will be pumped through Ukraine and such countries as the Czech Republic, Romania, Bulgaria and Austria will have sufficient gas volumes in winter.
The leaders of Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine have also welcomed the agreements on conditions of supplies and transit of Russian natural gas to Ukraine, the Kremlin press service announced Friday.