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Ukraine to pay Russia first tranche of natural gas debt within days -- National Bank head

Ukraine will transfer to Russia the first tranche for the earlier supplied natural gas "in the coming days," head of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) Valeria Gontareva said at a news conference on Monday.

According to her, on Monday the country's Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk held a meeting to discuss "all our gas payments". "I have no doubt that this will be done according to the signed agreement. This will be done in the coming days, as we have the money for this and all reserves are in place," Gontareva said.

Russia-Ukraine interim gas deal

Russia, the European Union and Ukraine at trilateral consultations in Brussels on October 31 reached agreements on the resumption of Russian natural gas supplies for Ukrainian consumers, on gas transit guarantees to the EU and on partial settlement of Kiev's gas debts.

After that Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed the resolution "on the Russian gas export customs duties to Ukraine." The document sets for the period until March 31, 2015 a special order of the calculation of export customs duties on natural gas supplied by Russia to Ukraine. In particular, the export duty will be calculated under the following formula: at the price of $333.3 and higher for 1,000 cubic metres the discount will be $100, and at the price lower than $333.3 the discount will be 30% of the price.

Spokesman for Russia's natural gas monopoly Gazprom Sergey Kupriyanov later said Gazprom was ready to begin gas supplies to Ukraine after Ukraine's Naftogaz state-own oil and natural gas company fulfils its obligations.

The so-called "winter gas package" with the discount will ensure the Russian gas price for Naftogaz in the fourth quarter of 2014 at the level of $378 per 1,000 cubic metres. Ukraine plans to purchase by the end of the year 4 billion cubic metres of gas, specified in the "winter package." However, according to Gazprom CEO Aleksei Miller, the Ukrainian side on the sidelines of the negotiations did not exclude it will purchase up to 7 billion cubic metres of gas.

Naftogaz in the coming days is to settle its $1.45 billion debt for Russian gas supplied in November - December 2013 and make a prepayment for new gas supplies. According to Miller, after making the advance payment, under the contract terms, the gas supplies will be resumed 48 hours after the funds arrive in the account of the Russian natural gas monopoly.

[Source: Itar Tass, Kiev, 03Nov14]

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