Ukraine will begin to withdraw Russian gas it has already paid for from Monday, December 8, Ukrainian Minister of Energy and Coal Industry Vladimir Demchishin said on Sunday, TASS reported.
"On Friday, we paid Gazprom for one billion cubic metres of gas and will start to withdraw gas from Monday," he told the 1+1 television channel.
Late on Friday, Naftogaz CEO Andrei Kobolev said on his Facebook account that the money had been transferred. "Yes. 378. Thanks to all participants in this process," he wrote.
On Friday, Ukraine's Minister of Energy and Coal Industry Vladimir Demchishin told a news conference that Naftogaz Ukrainy would transfer to Russia's Gazprom a prepayment for supplies of one billion cubic metres of natural gas by the end of this week. He said the country would pay around $378 million.
In early December, Yuri Prodan, the then Ukrainian Minister of Energy and Coal Industry said that Ukraine planned to buy up to one billion cubic metres of Russian gas in the first quarter of 2015, depending on weather conditions. He said gas would be bought depending on the country's demand. In line with protocols and agreements between Naftogaz and Gazprom, Ukraine can buy as much gas as it needs starting from any date upon transferring advance payment.
In June 2014, Gazprom suspended gas supplies to Ukraine for the latter's failing to pay advance payment for gas supplies in June. After EU-mediated talks in Brussels on October 30, Russia offered a discount to Ukraine. In line with agreements reached, the gas price for Ukraine in the fourth quarter of 2014 is 378 U.S. dollars per 1,000 cubic metres. The price in the first quarter of 2015 will be 365 U.S. dollars.