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Russia expects Ukraineís Naftogaz to prepay for March gas supply

Friday, February 27
Russia expects Ukrainian national energy company Naftogaz to make advance payments for natural gas deliveries in March on time, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Wednesday.

At present, all the key issues of Russian natural gas supplies are being discussed at telephone talks with the participation of European Commission Vice-President for Energy Maros Sefcovic and Ukrainian Energy and Coal Minister Vladimir Demchishin, the Russian energy minister said.

Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller said on Tuesday Russian natural gas supplies to Ukraine might be halted completely in two days due to the absence of Kievís advance payments.

Kiev has failed to pay for the supply of 114 million cubic meters of Russian natural gas, Miller said, adding this failure was creating serious risks for Russiaís gas transit to Europe via Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Naftogaz said on February 19 the company had filed an application for the supply of 114 million cubic meters of natural gas and made an advance payment for 454 million cubic meters while its prepaid balance as of February 23 totaled 287 million cubic meters while Gazprom supplied only 47 million cubic meters of gas, according to Naftogaz.

Naftogaz and Gazprom signed an agreement with the EUís mediation in late October on the so-called winter package of gas supplies to the ex-Soviet republic, defining the price of Russian natural gas and planned gas purchase volumes, as well as the schedule of Kievís debt repayment for Gazpromís previous gas supplies. (IPN)