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Ukraine ready for gas talks with EU, Russia, disagrees with price of gas

April 30, 2014, 23:36 UTC+3 KIEV

The government invites Gazprom to meet on neutral ground in London and discuss all issues

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KIEV, April 30 /ITAR-TASS/. Parliament-appointed Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk said Ukraine was ready to conduct gas consultations with the European Union and Russia.

“We have come to agreement on a trilateral meeting between Ukraine, the EU and Russia to settle the gas conflict. But I would like to recall that Ukraine has sent a pre-arbitration claim to Gazprom. If the positions are not reconciled and Ukraine’s demands are not met within 29 days, we will meet in Stockholm’s international court of arbitration,” he said on Wednesday, April 30.

“The government invites Gazprom to meet on neutral ground in London and discuss all issues. We will defend the interests of Ukraine using all lawful methods and the best lawful method is the court in Stockholm,” he said.

Yatsenyuk said earlier that the key claim was the price of gas. Ukraine insists on 268.5 U.S. dollars per 1,000 cubic meters.

Ukraine’s acting Energy and Coal Industry Minister Yuri Prodan said gas supply and transit issued would be discussed in Warsaw on May 2. “I think we will discuss the full range of issues concerning our gas relations,” Prodan said, adding that he and his deputies would attend the consultations.

He also disagreed with price of gas set by Gazprom which put Ukraine’s debt for gas at 3.5 billion U.S. dollars.

“Considering Naftogaz of Ukraine’s request for April 30 and the volumes we have already delivered this month, Ukraine’s overall debt for Russian gas, according to preliminary estimates, will be 3.492 billion U.S. dollars,” he said.

Naftogaz of Ukraine had imported 2.250 billion cubic meters of gas worth 1.09 billion U.S. dollars by April 26. The request for import in the remaining days of April is 110 million cubic meters per day. The overall amount of gas to be imported by Ukraine in April will be 2.7 billion cubic meters. With the price of 485.5 U.S. dollars per 1,000 cubic meters, Ukraine’s debt will increase by 1.3 billion U.S. dollars by May 1 to reach 3.5 billion U.S. dollars.

The European Commission said it was ready to help Ukraine pay the gas debt. However, Prodan has so far not stated readiness to pay for the gas supplied by Gazprom.

Ukraine is ready to pay its debt to Russia’s Gazprom for gas supplies at a price of 268.5 U.S. dollars per 1,000 cubic meters, Prodan said.

“Ukraine is ready to pay the debt. But we cannot pay the price Gazprom set from April 1. It is unjustifiably high and is about 500 U.S. dollars. We are ready to pay under our obligations,” the minister said.

He said that the Ukrainian gas transit system would be incorporated into the European gas transportation system. “We can also use the possibilities of our underground gas storage facilities and hope that European gas companies will build up their reserves in our storage facilities,” he said.

EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said the European Union was providing support to Kiev on the repayment of its gas debt to Russia.

The throughput capacity of the Ukrainian gas transportation is 288 billion cubic meters system at the entrance and 178.5 billion cubic meters at the exit, including 142.5 billion cubic meters to European countries and 3.5 billion cubic meters to Moldova. Natural gas transit through Ukraine to Europe and CIS countries in 2011 increased by 5.7% from 2010 to 104,197,067,000 cubic meters, including to Western Europe by 5.9% to 101,098,013,000 cubic meters, but decreased by 2.4% to 3,099,054,000 cubic meters to CIS countries.

Ukraine’s gas transportation system consists of 72 compressor stations, 110 production shops and 1,451 gas distribution stations. The overall length of gas pipelines operated by the company is 38,600 kilometers, including 22,200 kilometres of trunk pipelines and 16,400 kilometers of extensions.

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