Transit crisis between Russia and Ukraine
Ukraine's debts for Russian gas deliveries condition the emergence of a new transit crisis.
“Today, on March 7, was payment deadline for February gas supplies to Ukraine. Gazprom has not received payments for the debt. Given the discount operational in the first quarter, the arrears have grown significantly to $1.89 billion,” said Gazprom’s head Alexei Miller, reports Interfax-Ukraina.
“In fact, this means that Ukraine stopped paying for gas. This is completely against the provisions of the contract and international trade practices. On our part, we have always honoured and will honour our contractual obligations. But we cannot supply free gas. Either Ukraine pays off the debt and pays for the current supply or there is a risk of returning to early 2009 situation. We will inform the Government of the Russian Federation about the emerging situation,” said Miller.
Such situation occurred for the first time in the last 5 years of Russian-Ukrainian relations. IT resembles the early-2009 transit crisis, when for 20 days European countries were cut off from Russian gas supplies.