Ukrainian deputy PM visits Gazprom for first talks in three months
The CEO of Russian gas giant Gazprom, Alexei Miller and Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Yuriy Boiko held their first meeting in nearly three months in Moscow on Monday.
Miller and Boiko usually met once a month and sometimes even twice a month.
They "discussed a range of issues of cooperation in the gas sector, including issues related to off-take of gas, as well as the organization of its pumping into underground storage facilities in Ukraine in the spring-summer period," Gazprom said.
The Central Dispatching Department of the Fuel and Energy Complex (CDU TEK) says current gas imports to Ukraine area third of the target. Ukraine disagrees with the price of gas supplies and is trying to minimize purchases from Gazprom.
Ukraine uses the gas that its pipelines receive to supply the industrial regions in the country's east, and it supplies gas to Europe from its huge underground storage facilities in the country's west.
Ukraine needs to keep substantial stocks of gas in its underground facilities in order to ensure the stable transit of Russian gas in the winter. Gazprom does not inject its own gas into Ukrainian storage facilities as a matter of principle as the Russian company has faced problems getting this out. In recent years, the task of creating the necessary stocks of gas at Ukrainian underground facilities has been a regular issue at Russian-Ukrainian talks.
Gazprom made Ukraine's Naftogaz another advance of $2 billion last summer to put stocks in place in the underground facilities. Gazprom says in reporting that as of the start of this year it had already paid all of Naftogaz's services for the whole of 2013 in advance - $3 billion, the same as Gazprom paid for transit in 2012 - and another $600 million for 2014. The situation is almost the same as last year, making it possible to raise the issue of another advance.