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Ukraine PM suggests stopping gas supplies to south-eastern regions not controlled by Kiev

October 31, 2014, 17:18 UTC+3 KIEV
Arseniy Yatsenyuk explained the step by the fact that Ukraine does not receive “hundreds of millions” of dollars for supplied gas from the regions
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© EPA/SERGEI CHIRIKOV

KIEV, October 31. /TASS/. Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk on Friday suggested considering the issue of expediency of gas supplies to south-eastern regions not controlled by Kiev.

“I propose raising the issue at a meeting of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council. I will speak with the president on the issue,” Yatsenyuk said at a meeting of the energy headquarters.

He explained the step by the fact that Ukraine does not receive “hundreds of millions” of dollars for supplied gas from the regions.

Earlier Friday, deputy head of Ukraine’s national oil and gas company Naftogaz Sergey Pereloma said the company under-received 700 million hryvnias ($54 million) in October, and losses may equal 6-7 billion hryvnias ($460-540 million) over the entire heating season, in line with his data.

Pereloma said Naftogaz has technical capabilities to stop the gas supplies.

Self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics

Fierce clashes between troops loyal to Kiev and local militias in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions during Kiev’s military operation, conducted since mid-April, to regain control over the breakaway territories, which call themselves the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, have killed over 3,700 people, brought massive destruction and forced hundreds of thousands to flee Ukraine’s south-east.

The parties to the Ukrainian conflict agreed on a ceasefire at talks mediated by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on September 5 in Belarusian capital Minsk two days after Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed his plan to settle the situation in the east of Ukraine.

The ceasefire took effect the same day but has reportedly occasionally been violated.

Ukraine’s parliament on September 16 granted a special self-rule status to certain districts in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions for three years.

Ukraine gas debt

Ukraine’s debt to Russian state-controlled energy giant Gazprom stands at $5.3 billion. Out of the sum, $1.4 billion is to be repaid by the end of October, and a total of $3.1 billion will be repaid by the end of the year, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said earlier this month.

Gazprom on June 16 switched Naftogaz to prepayment for gas supplies because Kiev failed to pay part of its gas debt by the deadline of 10:00 Moscow Time on June 16.

Russian gas supplies to Ukraine for its own needs were halted, but transit volumes were reportedly passing via Ukraine to Europe in line with the schedule.

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