“Ukraine’s Naftogaz cannot pay for Russian gas” – president

“Ukraine’s Naftogaz cannot pay for Russian gas” – president
Ukraine’s president has said that the country’s gas giant Naftogaz has no money to pay for Russia’s natural gas delivered in December. The sum of the payment comes to $892 million.

Viktor Yushchenko has asked Vladimir Stelmakh, the head of the Ukraine’s national bank (Natsbank), to help solve the problem with paying for the Russian gas.

“Due to a critical situation with the Russian gas payments, I ask the Natsbank board to meet urgently and find the way to solve the problem through the mechanism of repurchase of Ukrainian government securities,” Yushchenko was quoted by Itar-Tass news agency as saying.

The Ukrainian president stressed that Ukraine faces such a situation again due to the “bletcherous work of the government and Prime Minister personally,” adding that once again Ukraine’s reputation as a transit state is under threat.

In the meantime, the country’s energy minister Yury Prodan claimed that Ukraine will pay for the December gas on time.

“Everything should be fine and we will pay 100% until January 11,” he told journalists on Wednesday.