[“Russian gas keeps flowing to Ukraine as deadline passes” - Reuters - June 10, 2014]
Reuters reports that Russian gas supplies to Ukraine and the EU have remained stable, despite the passing of a deadline over disputed Ukrainian gas bills. Meanwhile, the European Commission continues to broker related negotiations.
Natural gas supplies to Ukraine and the European Union were stable on Tuesday after a Russian deadline passed for Kiev to pay off some of its debts or face a supply cut, sources at Russian exporter Gazprom said.
The gas dispute is at the heart of a crisis between Russia and Ukraine, and failing to resolve it would fuel tensions and set back peace moves that are gaining momentum after weeks of violence in east Ukraine.
Russia had given Ukraine until 10:00 a.m. (0200 ET) to pay, but seemed to have pulled back from the deadline after officials said gas talks brokered by the European Commission would continue in Brussels later on Tuesday or Wednesday.
A source at Gazprom claims that Ukraine is receiving 112-115 million cubic meters a day, at a peak, pumping gas into storage facilities, and that supplies to Europe remain stable, at 200 million cubic meters per day.
One point of contention in talks is the price that Russia will charge Ukraine in the future.
Ukraine wants to modify a 2009 agreement that would lock Ukraine into the highest price paid by any Russian gas customer in Europe.
Russia had actually slashed the price after former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich backed away from a trade and association agreement with the EU. But Russia has since attempted to reinstate the higher price after Yanukovich fled during unrest and was ousted.