Gazprom unwilling to store gas in Ukraine - Miller

Gazprom will not keep its gas in Ukraine's underground storage facilities, RIA Novosti quoted the head of the Russian gas giant, Alexey Miller, as saying.

"We are currently not pumping gas into underground storage facilities in Ukraine, and will not do so," he said at a news conference.

Miller noted, Ukraine says that it could store gas in its underground storage facilities in the summer and sell it in the winter, deliver it to the market, but no matter what the conditions Ukrainian partners would offer, Gazprom will not pump gas into underground storage facilities.

He also said that Gazprom had reached an agreement with the Ukrainian partners to the effect that after 1 January 2015 the Russian company will not prepay Ukraine for transit. "We have made the last advance payment of $1 billion, which will suffice until January 1, 2015, and we will not prepay transit any longer," he said.

As reported, on Wednesday Gazprom announced that it will provide Naftogaz with an advance payment of $1 billion for the purchase of gas to be pumped into Ukrainian underground storage facilities. The agreement was reached at a working meeting of Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller and the head of Naftogaz of Ukraine, Yevhen Bakulin.

It was stressed that the timely implementation of plans to fill underground storage facilities with gas is necessary for Naftogaz to perform its obligations on the uninterrupted transit of Russian gas to Europe in the winter.

Earlier, the Minister of Energy and Coal Industry of Ukraine, Eduard Stavytsky, said that Ukraine was in talks with Poland, Hungary, Italy, Germany and other European countries on their use of Ukrainian underground gas storage facilities.

According to him, Ukraine is planning to increase the capacity of its underground storage up to 50 billion cubic meters of gas. To date, the capacities of Ukraine's 13 facilities are about 32 billion cubic meters.

Adapted from  Ukrinform