SOCHI, October 27. /TASS/. Russia is ready to supply natural gas to Ukraine at a price of $180 per 1,000 cubic meters, President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday.
"We discussed the issue of gas supply to Ukraine with Ukraine’s president on his initiative. He asked a question, whether Russia can resume supplies," Putin said. "Russia definitely can [do that] at any moment, nothing is needed for that, we have a contract and a supplement to it," the Russian leader said.
"Just one thing is needed - prepayment. We will make exact and guaranteed deliveries of our energy resources for Ukrainian consumers in the amount of prepaid money," Putin said.
"I would like to stress that the current price for Ukraine will not be higher than for neighboring countries, particularly for Poland," the Russian leader said. "We may sell to Ukraine at $180 [per thousand cubic meters]," Putin said.
However, Ukraine prefers to buy Russian gas by reverse from European countries, he added.
"However, as far as I know, the gas price for end users, for industrial consumers, is already over $300 per thousand cubic meters. We suggest selling at $180 [per 1,000 cubic meters] but they do not want to take from us so far," Putin said. "I have grounds to believe that intermediaries participating in these deals and making reverse purchases are probably close to heart of certain executives of fuel and energy sector in Ukraine. Let them work; the most important is that they should ensure transit to European countries," the Russian leader said.
Russia is concerned of insufficient gas injection into underground gas storages in Ukraine, Putin said.
"We are concerned of current situation with this critical component in Ukraine in energy terms," the Russian leader said. Certain fuel volumes have to be injected into underground storages to ensure smooth gas deliveries to Europe, Putin said. Our specialists are no less competent than Ukrainian ones in these aspects, he said. "We understand pretty well what is happening there," the head of state added.
"Insufficient gas was injected; from 17 to 21 bln [cubic meters] should be essentially loaded into underground storages. In my opinion, just 14 bln [cubic meters] were injected and furthermore, tapping already started. It raises certain concerns," Putin said.