Ukrainian deputy prime-minister blackmails Russia with revision of gas relations
According to the deputy prime-minister of Ukraine Yuri Boiko, the conditions of transiting the gas for Russia could be revised if Gazprom requires Ukraine to prepay for gas.
"If we look at purely partnership relations with the Russian colleagues, we have always stood by them during the peak periods, when it was important to preserve the transit of the gas to Europe. Gazprom fulfilled its contractual obligations thanks to our support," Boiko told the Interfax agency.
"If the Russian colleagues take such a formal approach, we, in a similar fashion, reserve the right to use the contract for purchase only and all the responsibility for transiting the gas to Europe will rest only with the Russian Gazprom. We will not lend them our shoulder because if there is a formal approach from their side, there will be the same formal approach from our side as well," said the deputy prime-minister.
Boiko confirmed the existence of devt of Naftogaz to Gazprom and expressed hope of resolving this problem, "The debt is huge and we hope that the public utilities will manage and decrease it in the nearest future."
Earlier the chairman of the board of Gazprom Alexey Miller said that Ukraine had underpaid Russia 882 million USD for the supplied gas. He also reminded that the gas contract had a provision of switching to the prepayment system if the payment conditions were violated.
"This issue needs to be solved. And it needs to be done urgently!" emphasized Miller.
Gazprom is confident that it can demand prepayment for gas already in November if the problem with the debt is not resolved.