Gazprom switches Ukraine to pre-payment for gas

Russia turned off the gas taps to Ukraine this morning after its deadline for an unpaid gas bill passed. Russian state energy firm Gazprom extended the original deadline by a […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Russia turned off the gas taps to Ukraine this morning after its deadline for an unpaid gas bill passed.

Russian state energy firm Gazprom extended the original deadline by a week after Ukraine seemed to be playing ball with its bigger neighbour.

The firm said it switched Ukrainian energy firm Naftogaz to a pre-payment system because of the “chronic non-payment of its gas bills”.

Russia is demanding $4.5 billion (£2.7bn), with $1.5 billion (£0.9bn) of that is for gas used in November to December 2013. The remaining $3 billion (£1.8bn) is for April to May 2014 when Russian scrapped a discount.

Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk today suggested the price was not acceptable, reportedly telling energy officials: “We won’t subsidise Russia.”

He countered the cut-off, by asking his energy ministry to draw up laws attracting EU and US investors to improve its gas network, reported news agency Interfax-Ukraine.