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Ukraine Asks European Commission for Larger Gas Reversal as Russia Suspends Supplies

RIA Novosti

14:57 16/06/2014

MOSCOW/KIEV, June 16 (RIA Novosti) — Head of Ukraine's Naftogaz Andriy Kobolev addressed the European Commission Monday with a request to increase reverse supplies after Russia had suspended all of its supplies for the country.

'Naftogaz is turning to the European Commission with the suggestion of opening a large reversal [of gas] along the Slovakian route,' Kobolev said during a government session.

'The present amount of gas that we receive via the reversed deliveries is approximately 16 million cubic meters daily. We are going to increase these figures,' he said.

Ukraine stopped receiving gas from Russia on Monday, except for the daily 185 million cubic meters intended for further transit to Europe after Moscow switched its gas supplies to prepayment scheme earlier in the day.

'We got a message about gas supplies to Ukraine being reduced to zero, only the Europe-bound transit volume of 185 million cubic meters [daily] remains,' Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuriy Prodan told the cabinet of ministers.

'We will ensure reliable gas supplies for Ukrainian consumers and reliable gas transit to European nations,' the minister said.

Gazprom implemented a prepayment plan for the delivery of Russian fuel to Ukraine's Naftogaz at 10:00 a.m. local time (06:00 a.m. GMT) due to Naftogaz' $4.458 billion debt.

Starting Monday, the Ukrainian company will only receive the amount of gas it will have paid for in advance. No payments have been received for June preliminary bill, yet, according to Gazprom. The latest price proposed by Russia stands at $385, which is the average market price Gazprom offered Kiev after axing a deal to subsidize gas exports to Ukraine.

The gas price for Ukraine surged from $268.5 to $485.50 per 1,000 cubic meters in April after Russia canceled two discounts granted previously to the country. Kiev keeps rejecting the new price saying it was ready to clear its debt if Moscow agreed to sell gas at the old price.

European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger called for a new round of trilateral gas talks between Russia, Ukraine and the EC later this month.

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