KIEV, Ukraine, Nov. 25 (UPI) -- A Ukrainian natural gas company said it expects to receive prepaid gas from Russia and future deliveries may come as demand levels dictate.
Russian natural gas company Gazprom said it's received no request for additional gas from Ukrainian company Naftogaz. Since no payment was made for future supplies, Gazprom said it halted deliveries to the Ukrainian market.
Gazprom in 2006 and 2009 cut gas supplies to Ukraine in part because of contractual disputes. The energy row spilled over into regional politics, putting former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko in the cross-hairs for her role in breaking the 2009 impasse over bilateral contracts.
Naftogaz said in a statement it expects to receive all prepaid volumes of natural gas from Russia by Wednesday.
"According to the current agreements with Gazprom, further volumes will be contracted and prepaid by Naftogaz as needed, depending on demand in Ukraine and taking into account terms available for Naftogaz in the European Union," it said.
The European economy gets about a quarter of its natural gas demands met by Russia, though most of that volume runs through a Soviet-era transit network in Ukraine.Naftogaz Chief Executive Officer Andrei Kobolyev said that, at least since mid-2014, his company has shown it can keep gas moving "whether we get it for Ukraine or not."
Alexei Miller, the top executive at Gazprom, said there would be no future deliveries to Ukraine until Naftogaz issues a new payment.
"Refusing to buy Russian gas creates risks for gas transit to Europe and gas supplies for the Ukrainian consumers before this coming winter," he was quoted by Russian news agency Tass as saying.
Kobolyev said that, as far as the company is aware, all parties are satisfied with the quality and reliability of transit services.
"At this time a year ago we did not buy any gas from Russia," he added.