Spokesperson for the U.S. Department Heather Nauert has said Russia should not use gas supply and transit as a political weapon against Ukraine.

"Gas supply and transit must never be a political weapon. We expect Gazprom to supply gas to Ukraine's transit pipeline per Stockholm Arbitration decision. Russia should prove it is a reliable gas supplier," she wrote on Twitter on March 2, 2018.

As UNIAN reported earlier, on February 28, Naftogaz received the final decision of the Stockholm Arbitration ordering that Gazprom pay Naftogaz $4.63 billion. Following the consideration of the two cases (another one – on gas purchase), Gazprom owes the Ukrainian company $2.56 billion, while the Ukrainian company owes nothing.

The Russian company did not agree with the Arbitration award and said they would appeal it. On March 1, Gazprom refused to supply gas to Ukraine in March 2018, having returned to Naftogaz a corresponding prepayment. The Ukrainian Cabinet claimed that the lack of Russian gas in the overall energy balance would not significantly affect the national economy. At the same time, with the aim of optimizing the performance of the GTS, the government introduced a gas-saving action plan for the period of several days.

On March 2, Gazprom announced its intention to initiate in the Stockholm Arbitration termination of all existing contracts with Naftogaz.