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Russia guarantees fulfillment of its gas commitments to European countries — Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow will not stop gas deliveries to Ukraine but will have to switch to advance payments
Gas compression station in Germany EPA/MATTHIAS HIEKEL
Gas compression station in Germany

NOVO-OGAREVO, April 11. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia guarantees that its commitements to supply natural gas to European partners will be fulfilled, President Vladimir Putin said on Friday.

Putin said Moscow will not stop gas deliveries to Ukraine but will have to switch to advance payments.

“We do not intend to terminate gas supplies to Ukraine. But in line with the current contract, signed and valid since 2009, which no one canceled, (Russian state energy giant) Gazprom is entitled to, and the government of the Russian Federation proposes switching to, prepayment,” Putin said at a meeting of the Russian Security Council.

He said it means that next month, Ukraine will receive the amount of gas it paid for this month.

“We are entitled to that under the contract, I ask the Russian government and Gazprom to familiarize our partners in Europe with these provisions of the contract,” the president said.

He recalled that his letter to European leaders sent Thursday has a reference to a provision of the contract.

“We just need to take excerpts from the contract and send them to European capitals as a supplement to my letter, all the more so as the contract itself has long been leaked to the internet during the political struggle,” Putin said.

The head of state also instructed the Russian Foreign Ministry to explain to partners that Gazprom is not only a Russian commercial enterprise but “a joint-stock company where nearly 50% of shares are owned by private companies and firms, including foreign ones”.

Putin noted that even such a big corporation as Gazprom cannot carry the entire load to subsidize the Ukrainian economy.

“It’s impossible, everyone should realize that. Russia acts very carefully and cautiously and with respect for our partners. We certainly guarantee in full the fulfillment of all commitments to our European consumers. The problem does not relate to us but to ensuring transit via Ukraine,” he said.

The Russian president asked the Foreign Ministry to fulfill the assignment as soon as possible.