Putin: Naftogaz suit against Gazprom axes discount for Ukraine
MINSK, August 27 (RAPSI) – The fact that Ukraine’s Naftogaz has invoked arbitration proceedings against Gazprom prevents Russia from giving Ukraine gas price discount, President Vladimir Putin said in Minsk where he met with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.
“We cannot even consider any preference solutions for Ukraine since it pursue arbitration,” Putin said. “Russia’s possible actions in this sphere could be used against it in the court. We couldn’t do it even if we wanted to.”
After Gazprom switched to a prepayment system for gas deliveries to Ukraine on June 16, Naftogaz turned to the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce. Naftogaz wants Gazprom to cut the price for gas and to get back $6 billion that Ukraine has allegedly overpaid since 2010.
Gazprom in turn is seeking to recover Ukraine’s $4.5 billion debt for gas deliveries.
Putin said Russia offered a compromise solution during the talks held before Gazprom switched to the prepayment scheme. “We reduced the price by $100,” Russian President said.
Gas talks between Russia, Ukraine and the European Union went on from April to mid-June. Kiev said it would not repay its $4.5 billion debt unless Russia agreed to supply gas at a lower price. Russia offered a discount, but Ukraine turned down the offer. Russia then said it would only resume gas supply talks after Ukraine paid off its debt.