KIEV, February ./TASS/. Ukraine’s national energy company Naftogaz Ukrainy refuses to pay for gas Russia supplies to the self-proclaimed republics of Donbas, company head Andrey Kobolev told a briefing on Thursday.
"We have resumed supplies to Donbas to a normal extent. We cannot confirm gas deliveries from Russia," he said, adding that the company would not pay the bill issued by Russia as it was out of line with the contract.
Earlier on Thursday, Kobolev said disruptions in gas deliveries to the south-east of Ukraine were caused by damage to pipelines amid warfare.
"We had a most difficult situation today," Andrey Kobolev said. "Our team could not approach the pipelines that had been destroyed. Now we have got this opportunity, and supplies have been restored," he told reporters.
Meanwhile, authorities of the self-proclaimed republics accused Kiev of sabotage in gas deliveries.
Earlier on Thursday, representatives of the self-proclaimed Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics said gas supplies had been stopped. Naftogaz Ukrainy explained it by saying gas transmission infrastructure had been damaged by warfare.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev ordered the Energy Ministry and Gazprom on Thursday to prepare proposals on humanitarian gas supplies to south-east Ukraine.
"I would like the Energy Ministry to prepare jointly with Gazprom proposals on providing humanitarian aid through gas supplies for the needs of these regions, unless urgent measures are taken for their provision with gas using the customary scheme," Medvedev said.
"In any case, people should not be freezing and that is why you need to prepare the necessary proposals," the Russian premier said.
Humanitarian gas supplies to south-east Ukraine will be commercial, spokeswoman for the Russian premier Natalia Timakova said.
"Gazprom will supply gas to the southeast [of Ukraine] as humanitarian aid on a commercial basis. The sources of financing are being determined," she said.
A source familiar with the situation said financing could possibly be provided through a loan or some other option.