Russian gas monopoly Gazprom said Tuesday it would cut gas supplies to Ukraine, which transports 80 percent of Russian gas supplies to Western Europe, if Kyiv does not pay over a billion dollars debt for earlier deliveries this month, according to Reuters.
"If the debt is not settled in October, Gazprom will be forced to begin to cut natural gas supplies to Ukrainian consumers," the company said in a statement, putting the amount of debt at 1.3 billion dollars (900 million euros).
Gazprom said it notified its European partners about existing problems with gas deliveries to Ukraine in its statement. "The Russian side fully fulfills its part of the contract, but the Ukrainian side`s debt for gas supplies is over $1.3 billion," the energy giant said, adding that Gazprom has reminded Ukraine many times that the debt should be settled as soon as possible, but to no avail.
"Gazprom hopes for constructive resolution of our Ukrainian partners` debt problem and will do everything possible to completely fulfill its commitments on export contracts," Gazprom said.
Gazprom, the world’s largest gas producer, supplies Europe with a quarter of its gas needs via Ukraine and Belarus and its previous pricing disputes with those countries have led to significant cuts in gas deliveries for Europe.