UKRAINE GAS DEBT: $5.30 BLN
Russian natural gas monopoly OAO Gazprom said Tuesday that Ukraine's debt for gas deliveries in the first half of June totaled $838 million, which brings its total debt to $5.30 billion.
Gazprom stopped supplying gas to Ukraine from June 16, as both sides failed to reach a compromise on price. Russia's state-owned gas giant said it would only sell natural gas to Ukraine if the latter pays for deliveries in advance.
Ukraine, which is suffering its most acute political and economic crisis in decades, has reduced gas consumption partly due to a warm season, but mostly because its plants and factories are working less. However, it was still pumping in Russian gas in the first half of June.
"Overall Ukraine didn't pay for 11.5 billion cubic meters of gas, a giant volume close to that delivered to Poland annually," said Gazprom Chief Executive Alexei Miller.
However, Kiev disputes the amount Gazprom is charging.
"The head of Gazprom is taking into account neither economy, nor business: it's his unsubstantiated political statements," said Ukraine Justice Minister Pavlo Petrenko, adding that the country wouldn't respond to Gazprom's claim.
Ukraine has filed a lawsuit at Stockholm's arbitrage court against Gazprom and refuses to pay until the court has made a ruling.
Mr. Miller said at the end of June that any further talks with Ukraine on the gas deliveries would resume only after Ukraine pays the debt it owes Gazprom for past gas deliveries.
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