Ukraine to ask gas firm to pay dues to RussiaMarch 5th, 2008 - 8:04 pm ICT by admin
Kiev, March 5 (RIA Novosti) Ukraine Wednesday said it would order the country’s national oil and gas company Naftogaz to pay its outstanding dues to Russia for the natural gas supplied without contracts. The statement by Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko came after President Viktor Yushchenko demanded earlier in the day the government resume talks on the repayment issue following Russian gas monopoly Gazprom’s decision to cut supplies to the ex-Soviet state.
“We will order Naftogaz to pay under a (government) resolution … in the absence of a contract,” Tymoshenko told a cabinet meeting.
Gazprom Tuesday reduced supplies to Ukraine for the second time in two days, bringing shipments to less than half their normal level over Kiev’s failure to pay off its $600 million gas debt and approve new supply schemes.
Ukraine now receives 69.3 million cubic metres of gas per day compared to the usual 156 million.
“The developments over gas supplies to Ukraine make me draw your attention again to the insufficient and inappropriate government action to implement the agreement reached between the Ukrainian and Russian presidents in Moscow on Feb 12,” a presidential spokesman quoted Yushchenko as saying in a letter to Tymoshenko.
Yushchenko and Russian leader Vladimir Putin agreed that Gazprom and Naftogaz switch to direct supplies without intermediaries, which Ukraine blames for allowing its debt to accumulate, and to set up two joint ventures. However, no documents to this end have yet been signed.