Russian Natural Gas Flows to Ukraine Stable

Russian natural gas flows to Ukraine have been stable since Dec. 9, when Gazprom resumed supplies after a six-month gap caused by a price dispute and unpaid debts, Ukraine's gas transport monopoly said Thursday.

"The supplies are stable and Ukraine received 42.8 million cubic meters of Russian gas on Dec. 9," Ukrtransgaz spokesman Maxim Belyavsky said.

Ukraine, hit by hard frosts and a lack of fuel to produce enough power to cover domestic needs, transferred $378 million to the Russian gas supplier for 1 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas in December to replenish its limited reserves.

Ukrtransgaz data showed that the volume of gas in underground gas storage sites had fallen by around 23 percent since the start of the heating season to 12.95 bcm as of Dec. 9.

Ukrtransgaz said this week it planned to receive up to 43.5 million cubic meters of Russian gas every day during December.

Ukraine has said a gas agreement with Russia, reached in October, allows Kiev to buy up to 5 bcm of gas in the period between October and March.

According to the deal, Ukraine must pay for future supplies in advance and also must pay off $3.1 billion in previous debts by the end of this year. The first payment of $1.45 billion was transferred last month.

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