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Russia worried by Ukraine’s growing gas debt

February 05, 2014, 20:52 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Gazpom says Ukraine's debt is growing quite rapidly - presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov

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Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov

Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov

© ITAR-TASS/Alexei Nikolsky

MOSCOW, February 05. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia is worried by Ukraine’s growing gas debt but hopes for its compliance with all terms of the current gas agreements, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday, February 5.

“We are concerned about the growing debt for gas supplies. Gazprom has already said that the debt is growing quite rapidly. We hope that our Ukrainian partners will comply with the terms of the existing agreement,” Peskov told Kommerstant FM radio.

Speaking on financial aid to Ukraine, Peskov recalled President Vladimir Putin’s words that Russia would not revise the agreements because this aid was intended for the people of Ukraine who have happened to be in dire straits. “But this will take some time, of course, until the new head of government explains to Moscow to what extent it will adhere to the course proclaimed earlier,” he said.

Russia wants to know that “Kiev has a clear understanding of how to use this money and for what,” Peskov said, adding that Russia had never insisted on documenting this understanding. “No one demanded that Ukraine make commitments in writing, as the IMF and other international financial organizations do. We simply need to understand how this money will be used,” the spokesperson said.

“The Russian leadership would like to see Ukraine, a brotherly country, prosperous, stable, democratic, wealthy and close to us spiritually, economically and in terms of investments,” Peskov said.

He said the Russian leadership was watching the situation in Ukraine with concern. “We wish our Ukrainian colleagues and partners success in settling the situation as soon as possible,” he said.

“Russia should do what it has been doing: help the brotherly country and one of our leading partners notwithstanding all the circumstances. Second, stay away from interfering in the internal affairs of Ukraine and listen attentively to possible requests for assistance or services that may come from our Ukrainian partners,” Peskov said.

He said the main condition was that such requests should come from the Ukrainian people.

Peskov said he was hopeful that Ukraine would not split up. “We would like to hope it won’t,” he said. “We would like Ukraine to stay integral territorially and politically,” he added.

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