Saturday, November 29th-10.3°C
24209
23372

EU official: Proposed solution found in Ukraine-Russia natural gas dispute, more talks planned

BERLIN - A proposed solution to a dispute over Ukrainian natural gas debts to Moscow would see Ukraine's gas company pay $2 billion to Russia's Gazprom this week and trigger talks on the price Kyiv should pay for future deliveries as it tries to avert a supply cutoff, a top European Union official said Monday.

EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said after meeting the Russian and Ukrainian energy ministers in Berlin that both sides must still consult with their political leaders and the gas companies involved, and they have until Wednesday evening to approve the deal. He stressed "we are not done" but said he is optimistic of an agreement.

The proposal calls for Ukraine's Naftogaz to make an initial $2 billion payment to Gazprom on Thursday to settle part of Kyiv's outstanding bills for gas delivered between November and March. Doing so would send "a clear signal of creditworthiness," Oettinger said.

If the payment is made, Russia would be prepared to hold EU-brokered talks in Berlin on Friday with Ukraine on the price of gas delivered in April, May and in the future, Oettinger told reporters. Naftogaz would make a second payment of $500 million to Gazprom on June 7. And Gazprom would agree to continue supplying gas for June without insisting on prepayment, according to the European Commission.

Ukrainian energy minister Yuri Prodan was more guarded on the likelihood of a deal but didn't rule one out.

"So far there is not yet a decision taken, and I also assume that from the Russian party no decision has been taken yet," he said. "It was a suggestion by the European Commission to be discussed."

Russia says Ukraine's total gas debt is $3.5 billion. It has said that it would only deliver gas to its economically struggling neighbour in June if it pays in advance. The prospect of a possible cutoff has worried European countries that receive Russian gas piped through Ukraine.

Ukraine has said it could start paying off the debt if Moscow restores gas price discounts cancelled following the ouster of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych. He fled to Russia in February after months of protests, triggered by his decision to dump a pact with the EU in favour of closer ties with Moscow.

Gazprom has scrapped a discount granted to Yanukovych in December and then another rebate linked to a 2010 deal on Russian navy presence in Ukraine's Crimea, which Moscow annexed in March. Canceling the discounts raised the price by 80 per cent, which has caused Ukrainian debt to swell.

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News

23015


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX14744.70-177.74
S&P CDNX741.87-13.53
DJIA17828.240.49
Nasdaq4791.63+4.312
S&P 5002067.56-5.27
CDN Dollar0.8756-0.0004
Gold1175.20-21.40
Oil66.15-7.54
Lumber329.40+1.40
Natural Gas4.295+0.144

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.145-0.005
Knighthawk0.01-0.005
QHR Technologies Inc1.27-0.07
Cantex0.04-0.005
Anavex Life Sciences0.1998+0.0288
Metalex Ventures0.06+0.02
Russel Metals29.91-0.79
Copper Mountain Mining1.94-0.18
Colorado Resources0.125-0.005
ReliaBrand Inc0.0134-0.0001
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.05+0.005
Mission Ready Services0.325+0.005

 
23744


24120

FEATURED Property
14288621986 Abbott
5 bedrooms 5 baths
$3,698,000
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Don't stop dreaming!

On Wednesday evening I drove through the Bow Valley in Alberta. It is my old home town... the first place Jackie and I moved to in 1988 when we emigrated. We ended up setting up home there and living...


Second marriage issues

It is not unusual that one or both of the parties planning to marry are approaching marriage for the second time. There are pluses and minuses to this new situation. On the plus side, individuals ente...


The last great Canadian tax shelter

A guide to how flow-through fund limited partnerships can mightily aid your tax planning!The end of the year will raise concerns among many professionals, self-employed persons, business owners and ev...

_



24156

24231


Member of BC Press Council


24203