Russia ready to continue gas price talks with Ukraine if $2 billion debt is repaid by end of week - Russian Energy Minister

Russia will be prepared to continue negotiations with Ukraine concerning gas prices if Ukraine pays off $2 billion worth of its debt before the end of the week, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said at a press conference after talks with his Ukrainian counterpart Yuriy Prodan and European Commissioner for Energy Gunther Oettinger.

Russia will be prepared to continue negotiations with Ukraine concerning gas prices if Ukraine pays off $2 billion worth of its debt before the end of the week, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said at a press conference after talks with his Ukrainian counterpart Yuriy Prodan and European Commissioner for Energy Gunther Oettinger.

During the meeting, the sides discussed the terms for a payment of $2.5 billion, including the $2-billion debt as of the end of March, which Naftogaz of Ukraine will be required to pay off before the end of this week, Novak said. The remaining $500 million should be transferred by June 7 as part of payment for gas delivered in May, he added.

"We are ready to continue our talks concerning the price when the payments arrive," Novak said.

The current gas price is determined by a contract signed in 2009, the Russian minister said.

"The only thing we can discuss today is discounts. It is a matter for talks, which will address the export duty," he said.

Early Gunther Oettinger said Naftogaz is prepared to pay $2 billion to Russian gas giant Gazprom before May 29 if the Ukrainian company agrees upon this payment with the authorities of Russia and Ukraine.

All rights reserved by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

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