One area where there has been a partial resolution is in Ukraine’s energy bills. The government has made a partial down payment on the money it owes Russia for gas shipments. The agreement was brokered by the European Union. But as CCTV’s Jack Barton reports from Berlin, there’s still plenty of disagreement over how much Ukraine should pay in future.
Disagreement over Ukraine energy billsOne area where there has been a partial resolution is in Ukraine's energy bills. The government has made a partial down payment on the money it owes Russia for gas shipments. The agreement was brokered by the European Union. But as CCTV's Jack Barton reports from Berlin, there's still plenty of disagreement over how much Ukraine should pay in future.
Ukraine made its first gas payment to Russia this year as energy ministers from both countries met at European Union sponsored talks in Berlin.
After the meeting the E.U. energy commissioner said the partial payment of 786 million dollars was seen as progress, though even he seemed puzzled by why it had to go through a U.S. bank.
Gunther Oettinger, E.U. commissioner for energy, said: “It is not yet an agreement but we have a framework. Our ambition is to find an agreement before the third of June. What is needed now is patience and a functioning bank in New York”.
Russian energy giant Gazprom recently increased the price of gas exports to Ukraine by 80 percent.
Russia had also threatened to make Ukraine pay in advance from the first of June or potentially have its gas supply cut off.
On Friday Russia’s energy minister said the door was still open to a compromise.
Alexander Novak, Russia’s energy minister, said: “We are prepared to accept discounts to settle debt, but we are now in a situation for the past six months gas supply has not been paid for. In that time we have not received a single cent”.
Half of Ukraine’s gas comes from Russia, as does about thirty percent of E.U. imports, half of which flow through Ukraine.
But at the meeting there was no talk on renegotiating the price of gas. Russia says that won’t happen until it officially receives the latest payment.
If the money that Ukraine says it deposited manages to clear the bank over the weekend then the next round of gas negotiations are expected to take place in Brussels on Monday.