Russia denies politics involved in Ukraine gas debt issue

Other News Materials 7 October 2007 19:44

( Interfax ) - Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev denied in a television program on Sunday that there were any politics involved in the current issue of the Ukrainian payment arrears for Russian natural gas.

"This problem will be solved when Russia gets the money," Medvedev, who also heads the board of directors of Russian natural gas monopoly Gazprom, told Russia's First Channel.

"So we are continuing negotiations. Currently there are certain guidelines on how the Ukrainian side, our Ukrainian partners, are trying to shut off this debt problem. Next week there will be more [talks]," Medvedev said.

The gas price for Ukraine will be based on market factors, "as is done for all our partners," the deputy premier said. "It is a purely a matter of negotiation, an economic matter."

"Negotiations [on gas prices] regularly set off disputes that we can't understand. Sometimes even hysterics break out," Medvedev said.

"They will be just and market-based prices," he said.

"It's about time our partners got used to the idea that one has to pay for one's gas, pay on time and in accordance with the contracts that have been signed," Medvedev said.

Payment delays force Gazprom to revise its budgets for other projects, he said.

"If our partners don't pay us, we are simply forced to look for other mechanisms of financing. And that is bad for the financial budget of such a large company," Medvedev said.