“Gas for fleet” deal has no negative effect on Gazprom – spokesperson

RIA Novosti / Georgiy Granin, STR
Gazprom will not lose anything from the Russian-Ukrainian “gas for fleet” deal, according to Gazprom company spokesperson Sergey Kupriyanov.

Just recently Russian and Ukrainian presidents signed agreements on gas prices and a prolongation on the lease for the Black Sea Fleet. According to the agreements, Ukraine receives a 30% discount on gas shipments and agrees to host Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in Crimea for another 25 years beyond 2017.

“The point is the decision was made by the government and the discount that Naftogaz got by this contract corresponds precisely with the reduction in export duties that was made by the government at the same time,” said Sergey Kupriyanov, spokesperson for Russian energy giant Gazprom.

“We will not contribute this money to the Russian budget. It is a packaged deal financed from the budget,” he added. Kupriyanov confirmed that it is taxpayers who will pay for the Russian Black Sea Fleet deployment in Crimea.

Ukrainian opposition statements that a probable Gazprom-Naftogaz merger is some sort of way of selling Ukraine to Russia are baseless, Sergey Kupriyanov noted.

“There were no secret protocols of course. The opposition’s statement on these issues is quite interesting actually. They said, for instance, that Naftogaz is instrumental in restoring the statehood of Ukraine. I find that quite strange since it is simply a gas trading company,” he told RT.

Watch the full interview with Sergey Kupriyanov on RT’s Spotlight program