Ukraine refuses to pay Gazprom $7 bln penalty
KIEV, February 22 - RAPSI. Ukraine has refused to pay Gazprom a $7 billion fine under its 2009 "take-or-pay" gas supply contract, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych said on the Dialogue With the Country TV show.
Gazprom has charged Ukraine for failing to use the contracted gas volume last year.
In January, Gazprom reportedly presented a $7 billion bill to Naftogaz Ukraine for failing to use the agreed upon gas volume under its take-or-pay contract. Naftogaz, which has repeatedly asked Gazprom to cut its annual supply volume to 27 billion cubic meters, believes that it has fulfilled its contractual obligations.
According to Gazprom, Ukraine's contracted gas volume for 2012 was 52 billion cubic meters, and the country must pay for at least 41.6 billion cubic meters as it failed to use the entire volume based on the agreement.
"We have refused to pay and are now in negotiations," Yanukovych said.
Ukrainian Energy and Coal Industry Minister Eduard Stavytsky said earlier this month that Ukraine has honored its contract and sees no reason to pay Gazprom's $7 billion bill.
Ukraine and Russia are currently negotiating the establishment of a bilateral consortium for managing the Ukrainian GTS (Gas Transport System) and reducing gas prices which are unfair in Ukraine’s opinion.
Yanukovych said that Ukraine will look for any ways to diversify gas supplies. He recalled that Ukraine has been receiving gas from the German company RWE since 2012. Also there is hope for the resumption of supplies from Turkmenistan, he added.