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Ukraine Refuses to Pre-Pay for Russian Gas: Energy Minister

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Ukraine is not willing to make pre-payments for deliveries of Russian natural gas as it contradicts the existing contractual conditions, Energy Minister Yuriy Prodan said Monday.

Updated 9:01 p.m. Moscow time

KIEV, October 13 (RIA Novosti) - Ukraine is not willing to make pre-payments for deliveries of Russian natural gas as it contradicts the existing contractual conditions, Energy Minister Yuriy Prodan said Monday.

"If we are to make pre-payments, let's go back to provisions of the contract that stipulate the payments should be made upon the delivery and not before," Prodan said in an interview with Ukrainian online publication Apostrof (Apostrophe).

In June, Russia's energy giant Gazprom was forced to introduce a prepayment system for gas deliveries to Ukraine due to Kiev's massive gas debt.

During a ministerial gas meeting in Berlin in September, Moscow and the European Commission proposed the so-called winter package, the deal that would seek Ukraine pay $3.1 billion of its debt to Russia by the end of the year in exchange for gas deliveries during winter months at $385 per 1,000 cubic meters. Russia initially insisted that Ukraine would pay the first tranche of $2 billion before the start of the deliveries.

Earlier on Monday, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Russia is ready to offer Ukraine a more flexible schedule of its gas debt payment paid. According to the proposal, Kiev is to pay $1.45 billion in first installment of its $3.1 billion gas debt to Russia, with the rest of the debt must paid by the year-end.

According to Novak, next round of Russia-Ukraine-EU gas talks is scheduled for October 21.

Tags:
debt, natural gas, gas, Gazprom, Yuriy Prodan
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