Russia concerned over Ukraine gas debt

February 6, 2014

President Vladimir Putin's spokesman said on February 5 that Russia was increasingly concerned about Ukraine's growing debt on its gas payments and needed an explanation about Kiev's future policies in the face of pro-EU protests, AFP has reported.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Putin would keep to his pledge to provide Ukraine with a $15-billion bailout package that also slashes the price for Russian gas shipments as long as Kiev kept the commitments it had previously made to Moscow.

"In case of the basic fulfilment of existing documents, no one will have any grounds to review anything," Peskov told Kommersant FM radio.

But he added that "we are concerned about the growing debt for gas deliveries."

Russia's natural gas giant Gazprom said this week that Ukraine's state energy company owed $3.29 billion in payments for 2013 and January of this year.

"Gazprom has already said that the debt is growing, and growing very fast. We hope that our Ukrainian partners will implement all the points of our existing agreement," Peskov stressed.

Copyright: AFP, 2014