Ukraine’s cabinet of ministers has banned Naftogaz of Ukraine from importing gas from Russia, according to Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk.
“The cabinet has decided to order Naftogaz to stop buying Russian gas. Russia got it all wrong: it’s not them who stopped gas supplies – we stopped buying it,” he said.
The prime minister said the main reason for the decision is the difference in European and Russian gas prices, with European ones being “much better”, as Yatsenyuk said.
Naftogaz of Ukraine expects to receive the prepaid amount of Russian gas today, the company said earlier on Wednesday.
“Naftogaz of Ukraine expects to receive today the entire volume of Russian gas that was previously prepaid. In accordance with current agreements with Gazprom, the company plans to continue to buy Russian gas in compliance with the contract, when it is needed, depending on the level of consumption in Ukraine, taking into account the supply on the European market. Until that time, Naftogaz will take Russian gas only for transportation to Europe,” the company said.
Earlier on Wednesday, Russian gas giant Gazprom stated that as at 10 o’clock a.m. Naftogaz of Ukraine used earlier prepaid volumes of Russian gas. The Russian company has not received a new prepayment from Ukraine and has no request from Naftogaz of Ukraine for new supplies. That means that supplies will be halted until Gazprom receives new prepayments from the Ukrainian company, the Russian company said.
Naftogaz of Ukraine also stressed that it will continue to transport Russian gas to European consumers in compliance with the terms of the contract.
In addition, according to Naftogaz, talks about the price of Russian gas for Ukraine in the first quarter of 2016 will be held in December 2015.
Other conditions of Russian gas supplies to Ukraine were agreed by Naftogaz and Gazprom until March 31, 2016 and won’t be changed in the first quarter of the next year.