The gas conflict between Russia and Ukraine can make a sharp come-back. Kiev has no cash to pay for the Russian gas, Echo of Moscow radio station said.
Ukraine is currently unable to pay for the fuel, which the country received in May, a source close to the talks between the Russian and the Ukrainian prime ministers said (the talks took place in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan). During the second quarter of the year, Kiev will have to pay $270 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas.
Kiev paid for the previous months because Russia had paid Ukraine for the transit of its fuel to European consumers via Ukraine. The payment was made in advance for the whole year.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko offered her Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to make another payment for five years in advance. Kiev would use the money – about $5 billion – to purchase the fuel for the current year.
Putin responded that such a plan would pose a great risk for Russia. There is no chance for Ukraine to hope for the financial help from the West. In the meantime, Ukraine needs to fill its gas storages with about 20 billion cubic meters of gas during this summer. Otherwise, Ukraine will be left with no fuel in autumn and winter.
The source added that Ukraine has two options at the moment: either to accumulate its internal funds or strive for the financial assistance from the EU or the IMF.