Russia's Gazprom, the world's biggest gas producer, will decide by July 1st whether to accept $1.4 billion in Eurobonds from NaftoGaz Ukrainy, Ukraine's state oil and gas company, to pay off its debts to the Russian company, UT-1 state television has reported.
Russia wants more financial guarantees on the bonds, UT-1 and STB television reported, citing results of talks between Ukrainian Prime Minister Anatoliy Kinakh and Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov in late last week.
“We want to see these bonds such as investors used to see them,” Kasyanov told UT-1.
In March, Ukraine transferred the Eurobonds to the Bank of New York, where they will be held until it completes an agreement to use them to pay off Russian gas debts. The debt was accumulated when Ukraine failed to pay for some domestically used gas over several years and illegally siphoned off some more from Ukrainian pipelines that carry Russian gas to Western Europe.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969