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

Video Snowstorm Sweeps Northeastern US

'This is nothing like we feared it would be,' New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says; he had warned storm could be one of worst in city history More

Millions of Displaced Nigerians Struggle With Daily Existence

Government acknowledges over a million people displaced in 2014 due to fight against Boko Haram insurgency More

Facebook: Internal Error to Blame for Outages

Temporary outage appeared to spill over and temporarily slow or block traffic to other major Internet sites 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.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

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

All About America

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8893
JPY
USD
118.31
GBP
USD
0.6660
CAD
USD
1.2459
INR
USD
61.427

Rates may not be current.