– Vladimir Putin’s declaration to foreign leaders on Ukrainian gas crisis (RT, May 15, 2014):
In early April we suggested immediate consultations in order to work out a coordinated approach to stabilize the Ukrainian economy and ensure stable deliveries and transit of Russian natural gas in accordance with contractual terms.
Over a month has passed. Consultations with the representatives of a number of non-EU countries have taken place in Moscow, in which our partners told us they completely shared our concerns over the situation with Ukrainian payments for gas deliveries from the Russian Federation, and risks arising from insufficient amounts of gas being kept in Ukrainian underground storage.
As regards EU countries, we have only had one meeting in Warsaw with a delegation led by European Commissioner for Energy Günther Oettinger, attended also by Ukrainian representative Yuri Prodan. Unfortunately, we have to say that we have not received any specific proposals from our partners about how to correct the situation with the Ukrainian buying company, so that it can meet its contractual obligations and ensure reliable transit.
Moreover, the situation with payments for Russian gas has only worsened over this period of time. Gazprom has not received a single payment for gas supplied to Ukraine, and the total debt has grown from $2.237 billion to $3.508 billion.
And this despite the fact that Ukraine is in receipt of the first tranche of the IMF loan, a sum totaling $3.2 billion.
Given the circumstances, the Russian company has issued an advance invoice for gas deliveries to Ukraine, which is completely in accordance with the contract, and after June 1 gas deliveries will be limited to the amount prepaid by the Ukrainian company.
I would like to emphasize once again that we were forced to make this decision. The Russian Federation is still open to continue consultations and work together with European countries in order to normalize the situation. We also hope that the European Commission will engage in the dialogue more actively in order to work out specific and fair solutions that will help steady the Ukrainian economy.