MOSCOW, June 16. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia was ready to provide financial aid to Ukraine within the framework of the tripartite consultations on natural gas supplies. Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak stated this on Monday in a conversation with journalists.
He said that representatives of the Finance Ministry, Ministry of Economic Development and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs took part in the previous rounds of gas consultations from the Russian side.
“We were ready to discuss the economic situation in Ukraine and were ready to put forward specific options of financial support,” Novak said.
He added that Gazprom might get back to the consultations as soon as Ukraine pays its gas debt. “To date, if the $4.5 billion debt mentioned by Alexei Borisovich (Miller. — ITAR-TASS) is paid, we can get back to consultations, including on further supplies, as well as on the prepayment mode,” the minister explained.
Alexander Novak recalled that the current gas price was based on a formula stipulated by the contract. “The contract is in force for another 5 years,” the minister specified, adding that Ukraine might challenge it “in a civilized way”. However, Novak stressed that “Gazprom’s demands from Ukraine are more grounded than the claims Ukraine has”.