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Turchinov orders Naftogaz to secure Russian gas supplies at previous price

Parliament-appointed acting President Alexander Turchinov on Thursday, May 1, instructed the Ministry of Energy and Coal Industry to secure gas supplies from Russia at the price that was in effect in February and March 2014.

If Russia disagrees to meet the demand, the relevant Ukrainian ministries and agencies have been instructed to "file a corresponding lawsuit with an international court of arbitration within a month of the receipt of the notice".

Ukraine's overall debt for Russian gas has grown to 3.492 billion U.S. dollars, Gazprom spokesperson Sergei Kupriyanov said on April 30.

"Considering Naftogaz of Ukraine's request for April 30 and the volumes we have already delivered this month [in April], Ukraine's overall debt for Russian gas, according to preliminary estimates, will be 3.492 billion U.S. dollars," he said.

The overall amount of gas imported by Ukraine in April was 2.7 billion cubic metres. With the price of 485.5 U.S. dollars per 1,000 cubic metres, Ukraine's debt had increased by 1.3 billion U.S. dollars by May 1 and reached 3.5 billion U.S. dollars.

Ukraine is ready to pay its debt to Russia's Gazprom for gas supplies at a price of 268.5 U.S. dollars per 1,000 cubic metres, acting Energy and Coal Industry Minister Yuri Prodan said.

"Ukraine is ready to pay the debt. But we cannot pay the price Gazprom set from April 1. It is unjustifiably high and is about 500 U.S. dollars. We are ready to pay under our obligations," the minister said.

He disagreed with price of gas set by Gazprom which put Ukraine's debt for gas at 3.5 billion U.S. dollars.

Prodan said gas supply and transit issues would be discussed in Warsaw on May 2. "I think we will discuss the full range of issues concerning our gas relations," he said, adding that he and his deputies would attend the consultations.

"We have come to agreement on a trilateral meeting between Ukraine, the EU and Russia to settle the gas conflict. But I would like to recall that Ukraine has sent a pre-arbitration claim to Gazprom. If the positions are not reconciled and Ukraine's demands are not met within 29 days, we will meet in Stockholm's international court of arbitration," parliament-appointed Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk said.

"The government invites Gazprom to meet on neutral ground in London and discuss all issues. We will defend the interests of Ukraine using all lawful methods and the best lawful method is the court in Stockholm," he said.

[Source: Itar Tass, Kiev, 01May14]

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