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Gazprom wants Ukraine to pay 5.3bn dollars for unused gas

Naftogaz is obliged to settle the bill within 10 days.

Russian gas monopoly Gazprom has drawn a bill on Naftogaz Ukraiyny for its failure to purchase gas volumes worth 5.3bn dollars under the "take or pay" rule, Interfax reported on 17 January.

Ukraine is supposed to pay the bill within ten days, he said.

Along with the previously stated claims that are currently being revised in the Stockholm court, the Ukrainian company's aggregate debt before Gazprom may reach 37bn dollars, accounting for more than half the capitalization of Russian monopoly of 61bn dollars.

Under the contract, Naftogaz is obliged to pay for an annual minimum amount of gas. In the first quarter of 2016, Naftogaz was freed from the "take or pay" requirement in accordance with the tripartite "winter package".

"'Take or pay' is not just another condition stated in the contract. This is a fundamental, basic principle of operation of the gas industry. It obliges the supplier to reserve extracting and transport capacities according to contracted volumes of gas. It serves to ensure that the gas will be sold only to the buyer specified in the contract," Gazprom's CEO Alexey Miller told the agency.

Russia believes that under the contract, which expires in 2019, Ukraine has to annually buy 52bn cu m of gas from Gazprom, of which the "take-or-pay" provision applies to 41.6bn cu m.

The size of Gazprom's claims under the 2009 contract may reach 60bn dollars by the date of its expiration in 2019.

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