Gazprom extends Ukraine gas bill deadline following partial payment

Gazprom extends Ukraine gas bill deadline following partial payment
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Gazprom has extended a deadline for Ukraine to pay its debt after Kyiv transferred some of the money.

The Russian gas producer had threatened to cut off supplies to Ukraine if the country failed to pay some of its bill of 3.5 billion US dollars (2.5 billion euros).

Kyiv has paid $786 million (575 million euros) and says it has put forward a draft proposal with amendments to the existing gas supply contract between the two neighbours.

Ukraine is seeking changes to conditions fixed five years ago, whereby it pays $485 (356 euros) per 1000 cubic metres of gas – the highest in Europe.

The price was reduced to $268.50 (197 euros) last December as a gesture of support to former President Viktor Yanukovych, but was raised again after he was deposed.

Naftogaz said in a statement that it paid Gazprom on May 30 $786.3 million for February-March supplies, and hence, “fully paid for the supply of natural gas to Ukraine for the first quarter of 2014 at the price of $268.5 for 1,000 cubic metres”.

Ukraine’s partial payment was made following talks in Berlin between the Ukrainian and Russian energy ministers, mediated by the EU’s Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger.

The fourth round of talks involving the two countries and the European Union resumes in Brussels on Monday.