Russian gas giant Gazprom is ready to discuss separate gas shipments to Donbass, Gazprom's official representative Sergei Kupriyanov said on the air of TV channel Russia-24.
"We are in active and ongoing contact with Naftogaz, which confirmed in a letter yesterday the amount of remaining paid gas at 206 million cubic meters as of yesterday," he said.
"We are currently ready to remove shipments of our gas to Donbass from the discussion framework. We're prepared to ship the volumes Naftogaz announced to the entry points they specified," Kupriyanov added.
"But at the current level, prepaid shipments will only last until the end of the week, and if [we] don't get new funds from Kiev, we naturally will not be able to continue shipping gas to Ukraine. For that reason, the main issue that Naftogaz has to resolve is finding money to make the new prepayment. I repeat: we are going to act in accordance with the contract. If the money doesn't come on time, gas will not be shipped," he said.
Asked about the timeframe for holding talks on gas shipments to Ukraine, he said: "We don't have such information."
Meanwhile, Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov said, that Gazprom and Naftogaz are maintaining dialogue so far, but the amount of gas prepaid for by Ukraine is only enough to last for a few days.
"Dialogue between [Gazprom CEO Alexei] Miller and his Ukrainian counterparts in Naftogaz is being maintained so far. It was said yesterday about an exchange in letters, and actually what we saw yesterday is the acknowledgment of the situation, the acknowledgment of the fact that [the amount of gas prepaid for] is enough literally for several days, literally until the end of the week," Peskov told journalists on Thursday.
"The contract, the technical appendix and technical terms stipulate certain points of entry, or gas metering stations. There are two gas metering stations among them that are located in southeastern Ukraine. In this case, everything depends on Ukraine, which should say whether this is Ukraine or this is not Ukraine, that is, answer the questions that were actually asked in Miller's letter," Peskov said.
"The OSCE has already recognized a humanitarian disaster, and an energy blockade will not just worsen this humanitarian disaster but will make it absolutely horrendous," Peskov said when asked whether Russia was ready to supply gas to southeastern Ukraine free of charge.
"I cannot speak about gas supplies now. Certainly, these issues will be considered urgently if need be. But it's also an obvious fact that Russia is providing assistance in quite large volumes," he said.
It was reported earlier that Miller had forwarded a letter to Naftogaz chief Andriy Kobolev on Wednesday to outline the current situation surrounding gas supplies to Ukraine.
Interfax learned, in particular, that the letter said that, under the current terms, the amount of gas prepaid for to be supplied to Ukraine was enough for about three days.
Miller pointed out in his letter that, in keeping with a contract between Gazprom and Naftogaz, the Prokhorovka and Platovo gas metering stations in southeastern Ukraine are among those used to ship gas to the country.
Miller asked his counterpart to confirm a condition Naftogaz earlier aired verbally that it would continue paying for gas supplies up front only if Gazprom stopped shipping gas to the Donetsk and Lugansk regions through the above-mentioned stations.
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