Russia's federal and local governments are failing to pay their power bills on time, hindering the national electricity operator Unified Energy System's ability to prepare for the winter period. The UES company supplies three quarters of the Russia's electricity.
The federal government paid for sixty one percent of the electricity and heat it used last year, whilst the local governments paid eighty six percent of their bills, UES said. That helped swell arrears owed at UES by ten percent to 97.4 billion rubles ($3.11 billion).
The UES Chief Executive Anatoly Chubais has said he will not supply electricity or heat to those who do not pay their bills, even if the customers are federal or regional authorities. The total level of payment for electricity and heat during the first quarter of the year was ninety six percent.
“The cash collection rates are one of the achievements management can be proud of,” said Mikhail Seleznev, an analyst at United Financial Group in Moscow. “The rates are still close to a hundred percent and the fact they are trying to enforce cash collection is positive.”