MOSCOW, May 29 (Itar-Tass) -- Russia is not ready to repay $5 billion for the next five to seven years of gas transit across Ukraine, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Friday.
“Ukraine is due to make another payment for Russian gas it receives for domestic needs and storing in underground facilities on June 7. Recent negotiations show that Ukraine may experience certain problems in the fulfillment of these financial commitments. Hence, there is a risk of new disruptions in the transit of Russian gas to Europe,” he said.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko offered Russia to pay about $5 billion for gas transit of the next five to seven years. This is close to the amount of the Ukrainian gas payment.
“This formula is hardly possible for three reasons,” Putin said. “Firstly, Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko actually announced it illegal. Secondly, it is planned to alter the organizational structure of the Ukrainian gas pipelines in accordance with the EU-Ukraine declaration signed in Brussels on March 23. That is, we cannot say for certain which possible partners Gazprom may have in the future deliveries of gas to Ukraine and to European buyers. Thirdly, it is rather difficult to amass $5 billion in the period of the global crisis and reducing gas prices and sale amounts.”