MOSCOW, February 20. /TASS/. Gazprom has increased natural gas supplies to the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics known as Donbas on request from Ukraine’s national energy company Naftogaz, Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller said on Friday.
"In accordance with an application from Naftogaz of Ukraine, Gazprom has today increased gas supplies to Ukraine, including through the Prokhorovka and Platovo gas metering stations," Miller said.
Gazprom started gas supplies to south-east Ukraine on Thursday as part of a contract with Naftogaz but the Ukrainian national energy company said it would not pay for these gas deliveries.
Gazprom started supplying 12 million cubic meters of natural gas a day from 4:00 p.m. Moscow time (1:00 p.m. GMT) on Thursday through the Prokhorovka and Platovo gas metering stations, which are located on the border between the Luhansk and Donetsk regions.
Naftogaz earlier supplied natural gas to south-east Ukraine, using a different route.
Gazprom made a decision to supply natural gas through the Prokhorovka and Platovo gas metering stations on instructions from Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
The Russian premier ordered the Energy Ministry and Gazprom on Thursday to prepare proposals on humanitarian natural gas supplies to southeast Ukraine, following a request from the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics.
Naftogaz CEO Andrey Kobolev said on Thursday "we [Naftogaz] cannot check whether or not gas was supplied from that side [from Russia]." "We cannot check these supplies. There is no control there over the volume of gas supplied to these territories from Russia. There are no representatives from among the Ukrainian and Russian sides that can control the number of deliveries," the Naftogaz head said.
"Naftogaz will not pay this bill and we believe this bill contradicts the contract [between Naftogaz and Gazprom]," the head of the Ukrainian national energy company said.
However, the statement by the Gazprom head suggests that the sides have agreed a new route of Russian natural gas supplies to Donbas.
The air temperature in Ukraine is staying untypically low for February.