EU to guarantee Ukraine gas payments, says Gazprom

By bne IntelliNews October 30, 2014

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The European Union is to provide written guarantees covering payments to Russia for gas supplied to Ukraine, according to the CEO of Russia's state gas company Gazprom Aleksei Miller, speaking at a press conference in Brussels, after late night talks between Russia, Ukraine and EU over the terms under which supplies of Russian gas to Ukraine can resume.

“The guarantees the European Commission will grant to Ukraine, these commitments will be documented in a bilateral protocol," Miller said, as quoted by Interfax.

Russia has previously demanded that EU make loans to Ukraine to cover advance payments for Russian gas supplies needed for supplies to resume, and provide other financial aid to enable the cash-strapped country to pay back debts to Gazprom and Russia. 

Miller said that the signing of a number of trilateral and bilateral agreements - drawn up between Russia, Ukraine and EU and currently being "fine tuned" - was contingent on Kyiv and the European Commission signing a bilateral agreement, wherein the European Commission would provide financial guarantees for Ukraine's payments to Russia.

"If such an agreement is not secure, no meetings and negotiations will be held, and no documents will be signed," Miller said, as quoted by Interfax. Miller said talks would resume in the evening of October 30. 

Russia's energy minister Aleksandr Novak said at the press conference that Ukraine has not provided written financial guarantees documenting its ability to pay in advance for Russian gas shipments, to total 4bn cubic meters. 

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