Russia guarantees the fulfilment of its natural gas commitments to European partners, President Vladimir Putin said on April 11, RIA Novosti reported.
“We are not going to cut gas for Ukraine. However, under a contract signed and valid since 2009, nobody has cancelled it, Gazprom has the right and the Russian government is offering to switch to advance payments,” Putin said at a meeting of the Security Council.
The president explained that Ukraine will receive as much gas next month as much it pays for this month. Ukraine’s current debt to Gazprom amounts to U.S. $2.2 billion. “We have this right, and I am asking the government and Gazprom to familiarize our partners in Europe with these clauses of the contract,” Putin said. “We have to take parts of the contract and send them to the European capitals as an enclosure to my letter. Moreover, during the political standoff, the contract itself was pumped into the internet long ago.”
Putin sent the letter to 18 European leaders on the situation in Ukraine and suggestions to mend the crisis. The president asked the Foreign Ministry to deliver the information to the partners and remind them that Gazprom is not a simple Russian commercial enterprise. “It is a joint stock company, in which almost 50% belong to private companies and firms, including foreign ones,” he said. Gazprom could not single-handedly bear the whole burden of subsidizing the Ukrainian economy, he said.
“Russia is acting very gently, very cautiously and respectfully toward our partners. Of course, we guarantee the full performance of our duties to our European consumers. The problem is not in us; the matter is in the provision of transit via Ukraine,” the president said.
Copyright: Prime, 2014