6 Nov 2009 21:08

Naftogaz may face problems paying for November gas imports

KYIV. Nov 6 (Interfax) - The Ukrainian national energy monopoly Naftogaz of Ukraine will face problems with the payment for natural gas imported from Russia's Gazprom in November, Ukrainian presidential envoy for international energy security Bohdan Sokolovsky said in an interview with the Ukrainian TV channel Inter.

Sokolovsky said his prediction was based on the fact that Naftogaz's own money was enough only for about one third of the monthly payment.

The main reason for Naftogaz's problems with payments for gas are the gas deal with Russia concluded in January 2009, which is extremely disadvantageous for Ukraine, Sokolovsky said.

The penalties for consuming less gas than is stipulated by the contract between Naftogaz and Gazprom are the biggest in Europe, Sokolovsky said. "At the same time, the reduction in the amount of gas transited by Russia [across Ukraine] is subject to virtually no sanctions," he said.

Naftogaz is supposed to pay for gas imported from Gazprom until the 7th day of the month following the one in which the gas shipments took place. Otherwise, the contract stipulates that the next shipment of gas to Ukraine would take place only after it is paid in advance.