Russia threatens to cut gas deliveries to Ukraine

May 13, 2014

Russia on May 12 reiterated its threat to stop supplying Ukraine with natural gas if Kiev does not pay in advance for June deliveries, and said further talks on the issue were also contingent on payment, Reuters has said.

Gazprom chief executive Alexei Miller said the state-controlled Russian company will present Ukraine's state energy company Naftogaz with a "preliminary" bill for June on Tuesday, demanding payment by June 2, Russian news agencies reported.

"If Ukraine does not pay for June supplies, Gazprom will, by 10am (0600 GMT) on June 3, inform the Ukrainian side what amount of gas will be supplied in accordance with the pre-payment," Itar-Tass quoted Miller as saying. He said the amount of gas to be supplied would be zero if no payment is made, the report said.

Gazprom says Ukraine owes it $3.51 billion and has warned in recent weeks that it would demand pre-payment for gas from next month. The Energy Ministry had previously said the deadline for payment was May 31.

Russia will be ready to hold more talks with Ukraine on its gas supplies only when Kiev pays off its debt, Russian Deputy Energy Minister Anatoly Yanovsky said earlier on May 12. "We want contract liabilities to be fulfilled... To continue talks, the debt should be paid," Yanovsky told reporters.

Copyright: Reuters, 2014