KIEV, February 7 (RIA Novosti) – Ukraine considers a $7 billion bill issued by Gazprom for gas the country did not use in 2012 unjustified, Ukrainian Energy and Coal Industry Minister Eduard Stavitsky said on Thursday.
Ukrainian energy company Naftogaz Ukraina reported on January 31 that it had replied to Gazprom regarding the gas bill, without disclosing the details.
“We have sent a reply that we do not think it is reasonable to pay the $7 billion bill because we have no grounds to do so, as we are fulfilling all the terms of the contract,” Stavitsky said.
Naftogaz Ukraina has repeatedly informed Gazprom that it would reduce the amount of gas it buys from Russia to 27 billion cubic meters. That amount is just over half of what Ukraine is contracted to buy under the terms of the 2009 gas deal signed with Russia.
Ukraine has long sought to alter the terms of the 2009 gas deal. The deal ties the price of gas to that of oil, which has risen sharply since 2009, boosting Ukraine’s gas bill. Kiev insists the price and volume of its gas imports should be reduced.