Deficient occupancy of the underground gas storage facilities (UGS) in Ukraine raises Russia fears. That’s why Gazprom may resume gas supplies to Ukraine any moment at a price of 180 dollars for thousand cubic meters on a pre-paid basis, reports TASS citing the Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“We are concerned with what is going on in energy sector of Ukraine, which is an important constituent part of life in Ukraine… We perfectly realize what is happening there. In order to provide uninterrupted supplies to Europe, we need to inject the needed amount of gas into the UGS. Not for internal use, but to ensure the transit,” said Putin during the Valdai Discussion Club on Thursday.
He noted that the UGS are not filled enough. “We injected only 14 billion, but from 17 to 21 should be injected into the UGS. I'll tell you more, we started extracting gas from this 14. This causes some concerns,” Putin added.
The Russian President noted that the gas issue was raised on the initiative of the Ukrainian side during the Normandy talks. “Poroshenko asked whether Russia is able to resume gas deliveries. Of course Russia may. Any moment. Any second. I want nothing for the moment. We already have the contract, and the annexes. We need only one thing – prepayment,” he added.
The Russian President underlined that the volume of the gas to be delivered will equal the volume of the prepayment.
“Last year we made a deal that the gas price for Ukraine won’t go higher, and I want to underline this, than for the neighboring states, namely for Poland. I am not perfectly aware of the latest situation, but Poland used to buy gas from us at 184 – 185 dollars per thousand cubic meters according to the existing, valid prices. We could see gas to Ukraine at a rate of 180 dollars per thousand cubic meters. I voiced this price then,” noted the President.
As it was reported earlier, Russian Energy Minister Aleksander Novak said that Ukraine will not be able to provide gas injection in full with the onset of cold weather, Russia will restrict Ukrainian consumers in favor of the European ones.
Ukraine is in litigation against Russian Gazprom in Stockholm arbitration under two contracts - a contract on sale of Russian gas and a transit contract.