Putin threatens to cut off gas supply to Ukraine in 3-4 days
Russian President Vladimir Putin says Russia will cut off gas supplies to Ukraine in three to four days if additional advance payment hasn't been made, which may pose a threat to gas transit shipments to Europe.
Putin announced this at a press conference after talks with President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades, an UNIAN staff correspondent in Russia reported.
"Gazprom fulfills all its obligations under the contract [to supply gas to Ukraine] and will continue doing that. What has been left from the advance payment transferred by the Ukrainian side will be enough for the next three or four days of gas supplies. If no more prepayment is transferred, Gazprom will suspend the supplies, as is stipulated in this contract and addendum to it. Needless to say, this may pose a certain threat to transit [supplies] to Europe, to our European partners," Putin said.
The Russian president said that he hoped that there would be no interruptions to gas shipments to Ukraine.
"Our economy minister, the top management of Gazprom have been making vigorous attempts lately not only to inform, but also to engage our European partners in the solution of the problem. We hope that it won't go as far as to such extreme measures and the gas supplies won't be interrupted. It depends not only on us, it depends on the financial discipline of our Ukrainian partners," Putin said.
As UNIAN reported earlier, state-run energy holding Naftogaz Ukrainy on February 24, 2015, warned Gazprom, which has been restricting supplies of gas to Ukraine for the last few days, that it could not make further advance payments for natural gas without guarantees that the Russian gas monopolist would stick to the Brussels protocol.
"Naftogaz will not be in a position to make an additional advance payment for supply of Russian gas until it receives assurance regarding Gazprom's strict compliance with the Binding Protocol signed by Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, European Commission Vice President Guenter Oettinger and Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuriy Prodan in Brussels on October 30, 2014," Naftogaz said in an official statement on its website.
Naftogaz claims that for the past few two days Gazprom has not fulfilled the application from Ukraine on gas supplies as set forth by the contract. Gazprom has not provided any explanations regarding the violation of its contractual obligations.