News / Economy

Russia Orders Ukraine to Prepay for Natural Gas

Map of gas pipelines from Russia into Ukraine, Europe.
Map of gas pipelines from Russia into Ukraine, Europe.
VOA News
Russia has ordered energy-dependent Ukraine to pay in advance for all future natural gas deliveries, as Kyiv's cash-poor government struggles to maintain economic and political stability.

The Russian Energy Ministry says Ukraine missed a Wednesday deadline to pay down its $3.5 billion energy debt, and said all gas sent from June 1 will require cash in advance.

It remained unclear late Thursday what impact the pre-payment edict will have on the European Union. Russia supplies about 30 percent of Western Europe's gas needs, with about half of those supplies passing through Ukraine.

In another development, pro-Russian separatists in the eastern Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk said they will go ahead with a referendum Sunday on whether to declare independence from Kyiv, despite calls from Russian President Vladimir Putin to postpone the vote.

Russian media quoted separatist Denis Pushilin, leader of the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic, as saying the referendum will ask residents to vote yes or no on whether they support a "proclamation of state independence."

Luhansk residents will be asked the same question, despite recent polling showing 70 percent of the residents in eastern Ukraine want to remain part of the country.

In Washington, the U.S. State Department issued a new travel warning for Ukraine, advising Americans to defer all non-essential travel to the country. It also warned U.S. citizens to avoid Odessa, eastern regions gripped by weeks of separatist protests, and the Crimean peninsula, which was annexed by Moscow in March.  

The United States and Ukraine do not recognize the annexation.

Ukraine has so far refused to pay down its energy debt, to protest Moscow's recent gas price increase that nearly doubles what Ukraine's energy monopoly Naftogaz pays its neighbor.

Russia cut off gas supplies to its neighbor twice in the past decade, and each time Moscow accused Kyiv of siphoning off supplies meant for Western Europe.  

The 2006 and 2009 cutoffs led to major energy disruptions in EU countries before payment agreements between Moscow and Kyiv were reached and gas flow restored.

The Russian president last month warned the European Union that it would require gas prepayments from Ukraine, unless Europe helped cover the Ukraine debt. Since then, the International Monetary Fund has approved a loan package to Kyiv that includes an initial payment of more than $2 billion.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Not Again from: Canada
May 09, 2014 7:49 PM
Ukraine needs to charge Russia for its unlawful occupation of the Crimea, 30+ billion a year, at least; and have the EU transfer at least 50% of the EU gas payments, from the Russian account into a Ukrainian bank account.

by: wayne coady from: nanaimo BC
May 09, 2014 12:50 AM
Ukrine seems to be the gateway for Russia to get its gas to Europe, so why not just cut off the feed lines ? This would be the best way for the Ukrine to make a point. Back off Russia or we will all freeze together and you Russia will lose your market .

by: jdusa from: USA
May 08, 2014 10:44 PM
Putin is a very intelligent person, dont think otherwise. He knows how to manipulate/gain respect of his countryman. Unfortunately he is hitleristic. He has the Ukraine by the shorthairs and knew the control he had over these pipelines way before all of this started. Republicans and Democrats suck all of them.Man up America and vote independent. Nothing is getting voted thru anyway, might as well make a statement!

by: Anonymous
May 08, 2014 10:39 PM
Alternative energy must be found., and Putins pipelines must be cut off from Europe. No better time than now.

by: Will from: Canada
May 08, 2014 8:55 PM
The Ukrainians were getting their natural gas from Russia at about a 50% discount to the going world rate so a doubling of the price means that they will now have to pay the same price as the rest of us - boo hoo. That is what happens when a country succumbs to western interference and pressure and turns it back on a long time friend and generous supporter.

by: Not conned from: Toronto
May 08, 2014 8:39 PM
I don't understand how Russia can take Crimea and expect Ukraine to then pay it's gas debt.

by: Dell Stator from: USA
May 08, 2014 8:17 PM
Energy Dependent Ukraine.... NO IT ISN'T - 25% of the Ukraines primary energy comes from Russian gas.
The need for half of that could be eliminated by lowering thermostats 5 or 10 F, yes, a bit chilly, put on a sweater - OR INSULATE THE BUILIDING! LOTS of uninsulated old buildings, typical of established countries.
Europe could easily make up the other 12% reverse pumping LNG, which could be done for the same cost US pays for LNG, from the same place the US buys it, the Middle East. Europe has TWO DOZEN LNG ports, under utilized thanks to Russia dumping gas at rock bottom prices to enslave the Euro Zone.
It took me 5 mins to verify the above via multiple gov't sources.
Do "Jouralists" actually have the ability to research or permission from the publishers to write the truth?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.9211
JPY
USD
119.18
GBP
USD
0.6722
CAD
USD
1.2509
INR
USD
62.518

Rates may not be current.