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MOSCOW, February 12. /TASS/. Gazprom addressed a letter to Naftogaz of Ukraine requesting to repay gas debt of $2.44 billion, Minister of Energy of Russia Alexander Novak told LifeNews TV channel.
"Gazprom actively works on debt collection in addition to the arbitration procedures. Gazprom now has sent a letter to Naftogaz of Ukraine demanding to pay the debt," Novak addressed the $2.2 billion debt for delivered gas plus penalty fee in the amount of roughly $200 million.
He pointed out that Ukranian partners do not acknowledge the debt, although being billed according to active contract. "Gazprom has every right to claim the funds," he said.
According to TASS, hearings in the Stockholm Arbitration Institute will take place not earlier than February-March 2016.
Gazprom initially demanded penalties from Naftogaz for non-payment of more than $4.5 billion in June 2014. In response Naftogaz declared an overpayment from May 20, 2011 till the filing of a claim in the amount of $6 billion.
In autumn of last year Naftogaz of Ukraine filed a claim concerning changing of the gas contract for the transit of Russian gas to Europe and demanded that Gazprom pay the compensation price for transit reduction in the amount of $3.2 billion. Naftogaz has also stated, that a reconsideration of traffic rates is necessary.
Therefore, Naftogaz demands $6 billion compensation due to the reconsideration of the delivery price of Russian gas from May 2011; $3.2 bln for the decline in transit and additional $3 bln as a compensation for low transit rate. All the claims take into account fines and penalty fees and amount to $12.2 billion in total.
In 2014 Gazprom supplied 4.5 billion cubic meters of gas to Ukraine (25.3 billion in 2013). Earlier Alexey Miller, Gazprom CEO, claimed Naftogaz debt to be $2.44 billion, penalty fees included.