Gazprom may give Ukraine new payment extensions

Gazprom is examining the possibility of giving Naftogaz Ukrainy new payment extensions for gas deliveries, the head of the Russian gas giant's foreign economic department, Pavel Oderov, said during a conference call for investors.

Ukraine has regularly requested more time to pay for gas since 2012.

"There is unpaid debt for August and October. The question of providing a payment extension is being examined," Oderov said.

Naftogaz halted gas imports from Gazprom at the beginning of November. "In fact, this means that domestic production and gas in underground storage is being used to supply the domestic market," Oderov said, adding that gas is needed in Ukraine's underground storage in order to ensure uninterrupted transit, which may be jeopardized by withdrawals for the domestic market.

Deputy CEO Andrei Kruglov said: "As financial people, we see that Ukraine's indebtedness is growing and now tops $1.3 billion. And we are not seeing any change."

Gazprom has provided a payment extension on Ukraine's debt for gas delivered in August, at 6% annual interest.

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