Russia has reduced its demands for Ukraine to repay a first tranche of debt for gas supplies from $2 billion to $1.454 billion, while Ukraine has reduced its request for winter gas supplies from 5 billion cubic meters to 4 bcm, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told reporters.
"Our latest proposal before the supplies begin is to pay debt of $1.454 billion for November-December 2013," Novak said.
Russia previously suggested setting the first tranche repayment at $2 billion.
"This is an official proposal [to reduced the first tranche], which we submitted to the European Commission on October 3. Ukraine hasn't yet accepted it. But the EU has been in agreement with our proposal from the very beginning," Novak said.
He said Russia was proposing that Ukraine wrap up settlements of $3.1 billion for previous gas supplies by the end of 2014, and Ukraine was proposing to do this by March inclusive.
Novak said Kiev had sent a proposal to Brussels regarding lowering the volume of Russian gas this winter from 5 bcm to 4 bcm.
He said Ukraine needed to clarify its needs as per a schedule for the receipt of gas, and that the size of prepayment for the first month's delivery would depend on this.
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