Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Ukraine and Russia natural gas tug of War May 28 , 2014 ( additional front line news for South East Ukraine ) -- Russia bottom line : Russia will be prepared to continue negotiations with Ukraine concerning gas prices if Ukraine pays off $2 billion worth of its debt before the end of the week . During the meeting, the sides discussed the terms for a payment of $2.5 billion, including the $2-billion debt as of the end of March, which Naftogaz of Ukraine will be required to pay off before the end of this week, Novak said. The remaining $500 million should be transferred by June 7 as part of payment for gas delivered in May, he added. "We are ready to continue our talks concerning the price when the payments arrive," Novak said, Interfax reports.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-05-28/russia-tells-kiev-it-ready-provide-humanitarian-aid-east-ukraine

( Here we go....)

Russia Tells Kiev "It Is Ready To Provide Humanitarian Aid" To East Ukraine

Tyler Durden's picture





Some were confused by the latest bout of radio-silence emanating from the Kremlin in the aftermath of both the "Chocolate King" winning the Ukraine presidential election, and the most recent escalation of fighting in self-proclaimed as independent Republic of Donetsk, in which more than 50 "separatists" were killed. This ended moments ago when the Russian foreign ministry issued a press release that it has received appeals for humanitarian aid from the "conflict zone" in east Ukraine, and that more importantly, it is is ready to the "provide the population with the required assistance."
As Bloomberg adds, Russia has asked for Ukraine’s help in allowing delivery of supplies to affected areas, and that it is ready to seek approval on routes, terms of transportation of supplies, ministry says.
"Given the urgent nature of the situation, Russia is counting on the fastest possible answer from Ukraine on this request,” the ministry says.
Naturally, since Ukraine will respond with a resounding "no" to any official Russian entry into its territory, it then puts Russia - which has formally acknowledged east Ukraine is asking for its help - in the position of deciding what the best way of aiding citizens in the east. Without the Kiev government's support.
From the Russian Ministry:
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent a note to Ukraine, which draws the attention of the Ukrainian side to the fact that the Russian side has received insistent appeals from individuals and organizations in the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine, where as a result of military actions there are numerous human casualties and victims, asking for urgent humanitarian assistance, especially medical supplies and medicines.

Russian stressed that it is ready to provide the population in these regions with the required assistance, and proposed to the Ukrainian side to promptly take the necessary measures to ensure the immediate delivery of Russian humanitarian aid to the affected regions.

Specific routes and transport conditions of such humanitarian assistance, according to the note, could be agreed in due course through the appropriate Russian and Ukrainian authorities.

Given the urgent nature of the situation, Russia is counting on the fastest possible answer from Ukraine on this request.







Itar Tass.....

If Ukraine does not pay to Gazprom on June invoice, gas supply to be restricted on June 3

 May 28, 17:14 UTC+4
If Ukraine does not make a money transfer until June 2, gas supplies to Ukraine will be restricted starting from 10.00 am on June 3, says Gazprom CEO
Alexei Miller (left) and Vladimir Putin

Alexei Miller (left) and Vladimir Putin

© ITAR-TASS/Alexei Nikolsky
MOSCOW, May 28. /ITAR-TASS/. If Ukraine does not pay to Russian energy giant Gazprom on an invoice for gas supply in June, gas delivery amount will be restricted on June 3, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said at a government meeting chaired by President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday.
“An invoice is forwarded to our Ukrainian partners for June. The payment deadline is set until June 2. If Ukraine does not make a money transfer, gas supplies to Ukraine will be restricted starting from 10.00 am on June 3,” Miller said.
Ukraine is taking maximum gas amounts in May, total gas supplies will make 3.5 billion cubic meters in May,  Miller said.
“Ukraine is taking maximum contracted daily amounts in the course of May, gas supply amounts make 3.5 billion cubic meters in May. The cost of gas supplies in May will reach around $1.7 billion,” Miller said.
Ukraine's debt for Russian gas supplies may reach $5.2 billion by June 7, Miller noted.
“Ukrainian debt for Russian gas supplies may exceed $5.2 billionby June 7. Very little time is left. Consultations are planned in Berlin on Friday. We with Alexander Valentinovich (Novak - energy minister) will participate in three-party consultations involving the European Commission and the leadership of the Ukrainian fuel and energy complex,” Miller said.

Putin hopes Russia will not need to switch to advance payment
Russian President Vladimir Putin hopes that Russia will not have to introduce advance payment for gas supply to Ukraine.
“I hope that we will not face a situation when we will have to switch to advance payment,” the president said at a meeting with government members on Wednesday.
In Putin’s view, Russia’s position on gas supply for Ukraine “is not just partnership, but more than friendly."
Putin instructed Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to determine on which terms Russia will deliver gas to Ukraine in the future, if Kiev pays theamassed debts.
“If those terms on which we agreed with our partners are fulfilled and if payments start in those amounts that we agreed upon, then the Russian government should decide what they will be prepared to do in further cooperation in the gas sphere with our partners in Ukraine,” Putin said.





































Russia may grant gas price discount to Ukraine, but contract revision not on agenda

 May 28, 18:00 UTC+4
Further discussions on Ukraine's gas debt will be held on May 30
Russia's Energy Minister Alexander Novak

Russia's Energy Minister Alexander Novak

© AP Photo/Alik Keplicz
MOSCOW, May 28. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia may grant a gas price discount to Ukraine, but revision of the gas contract is not on the agenda, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said at a government meeting chaired by President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday.
“Upon receiving a first tranche (payment for gas supply) that should be transferred before May 30, we are prepared to continue talks. We agreed to discuss our further actions on Friday, May 30, including possible variants of the price for future gas supplies. First and foremost, I mean that only a gas price discount may be considered, but not revision of the 2009 contract terms,” Novak said.
Ukraine has acknowledged these contracts and the contracts themselves are not disputed, Novak said.
“It is difficult to dispute them because they were signed by the Ukrainian side, by the same people who are still in power, and these contracts have been executed since 2009. It is simply ridiculous to put them into question,” the energy minister said.
The European Commission supported Russia in the latest round of gas negotiations, the head of the Russian Energy Ministry said.
“The Ukrainian side took a pause to hold additional consultations with its leadership until Thursday. Today is the last day when Ukraine should inform the European Commission and Russia about its decision,” Novak said.
In the course of three-party consultations held on Tuesday, the sides discussed gas deliveries to Ukraine, gas transit to Europe and payments for gas supplies in the context of the financial and economic situation in Ukraine, the Russian energy minister said.
“The Ukrainian side confirmed the existence of the undisputed debt as of April 1 for the period from November to March totaling $2.24 million,” Novak said.
“As a compromise, we proposed a scheme jointly with the European Commission, under which Naftogaz of Ukraine should transfer $2 billion to Gazprom by May 30 and another tranche of $500 million by June 7,”the Russian energy minister said.
“This is partial payment for the gas delivered from November to April inclusive and on June 7 a partial payment for May deliveries should already be made. The two tranches will total $2.5 billion,” Novak said.


































Ukraine has money to pay gas debts to Russia but not certain about price

 May 27, 19:16 UTC+4
Ukraine’s parliament-appointed Finance Minister Oleksandr Shlapak says it is impossible to say whether the available sum would be enough to “balance and secure Naftogaz of Ukraine"
Ukraine's parliament-appointed Finance Minister Oleksandr Shlapak

Ukraine's parliament-appointed Finance Minister Oleksandr Shlapak

© EPA/SERGEY DOLZHENKO
KIEV, May 27. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine has the money to pay its gas debts to Russia but is not certain about the price of Russian gas, Ukraine’s parliament-appointed Finance Minister Oleksandr Shlapak said on Tuesday.
“We have saved a necessary sum to pay our Russian partners but it is not clear so far what the price will be,” he said at a government meeting, adding that for this reason it was impossible to say whether the available sum would be enough to “balance and secure Naftogaz of Ukraine".
Earlier on Tuesday, Ukraine’s parliament-appointed Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said that his country was ready to pay for Russian gas it had already received but bilateral documents were needed “to discharge obligations”. If such documents were not signed, he said, Ukraine would file a suit with the international arbitration court in Stockholm on May 29.
It means that Kiev hopes that by May 29 Moscow would revise the gas price for Ukraine, which Ukraine claims is politically-motivated. Previously, Ukraine repeatedly asked Russia to reduce the gas price.


Ukraine to repay gas debt to Russia if previous price returned — acting finance minister

 May 27, 12:05 UTC+4
"The proposal made today — “you pay and then we will start talking to you” — does not suit us," Oleksandr Shlapak stated
© ITAR-TASS/Stanislav Krasilnikov
KIEV, May 27. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine “will not pay anything” for gas to Russia, if the countries do not reach an agreement to bring back the previous gas price at $268.5 for 1,000 cubic meters, parliament-appointed acting Ukrainian Finance Minister Oleksandr Shlapak told reporters before a country’s government meeting on Tuesday.
“We are prepared to pay after they [Russia] confirm the gas price to us for the future. However, the proposal made today — “you pay and then we will start talking to you” — does not suit us,” the interim minister said.
He noted the need to hold gas talks with Russia at which negotiating parties should agree on returning the gas price at $268.5 for 1,000 cubic meters.
“If no agreement is attained, we will not pay anything,” Shlapak noted.


Voice of Russia .....

28 May 2014, 11:27

Ukraine to inform EU about decision on gas debt to Russia on May 28

Ukraine to inform EU about decision on gas debt to Russia on May 28

Before May 28 is out, Ukraine is to notify the European Union about its decision on paying the debt for Russian gas; after that, the information will be transferred to the Ministry of Energy of Russia, a representative of the Ministry of Energy informed RIA Novosti.

The EU acts as an intermediary in resolving the situation with payments for Russian gas deliveries to Ukraine. "Therefore, the EU asked to notify it, and afterwards, the information will be delivered to the Russian side," representative of Ministry of Energy said.
Following the second round of trilateral negotiations Russia-Ukraine-the EU on gas held yesterday, Russia expressed readiness to continue talks on the price (only about a discount) in case of receiving a part of the Kiev's debt in the amount of 2 billion dollars until Friday. Ukraine declared that it was ready to pay the debt to Russia for gas after confirmation of prices for further deliveries at the level of 268.5 dollars per thousand cubic meters.
Due to Ukraine's debts for gas, which are estimated at $3.5 billion at the end of April, Gazprom puts Ukraine on advance payment in accordance with the contract. If the preliminary bill for June is not paid by Naftogaz in time, Russia may turn off gas for Ukraine starting from June 3. This potentially creates a threat for the transit of Russian gas to Europe.
Russia may agree not to demand that Ukraine pay for gas shipments in advance if Kiev pays off at least part of its gas debts, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller told reporters after trilateral talks in Berlin.
When asked about the possibility of deciding not to demand advance payment from Kiev starting from June 3, Miller said that "the first issue, which is also the most important one, is that Ukraine should start to pay off its debts. It is a starting point."
In response to a question concerning Gazprom's possible plans to file a lawsuit with the Stockholm Arbitration Court demanding Naftogaz's payment for gas volumes it committed contractually to buy but did not take, the Russian gas giant's CEO said: "Let's discuss issues as they emerge." When commenting on a possible discount in the form of a preferential export duty, Miller said that a discount of $100 per 1,000 cubic meters, as was determined by the Kharkov agreement, was out of the question today.
As for the entire $3.5-billion gas bill for Ukraine presented by Gazprom at the end of April, Miller said: "Let them take the first step at least. They still have time until June 2."
Russia will be prepared to continue negotiations with Ukraine concerning gas prices if Ukraine pays off $2 billion worth of its debt before the end of the week, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said at a press conference after talks with his Ukrainian counterpart Yuriy Prodan and European Commissioner for Energy Gunther Oettinger.
During the meeting, the sides discussed the terms for a payment of $2.5 billion, including the $2-billion debt as of the end of March, which Naftogaz of Ukraine will be required to pay off before the end of this week, Novak said.
The remaining $500 million should be transferred by June 7 as part of payment for gas delivered in May, he added.
"We are ready to continue our talks concerning the price when the payments arrive," Novak said, Interfax reports.
In his turn, Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuriy Prodan has announced that the European Commission's offer to adjourn Ukrainian-Russian gas talks until Wednesday was approved after Monday's round failed to secure the adoption of a Kiev-backed "package" proposal.
European Commissioner for Energy Gunther Oettinger attended the negotiations.
When speaking to reporters, Prodan reaffirmed that on May 28 Naftogaz of Ukraine would file a lawsuit with the Stockholm Arbitration Tribunal concerning the price for gas set by a contract earlier signed with Russian gas giant Gazprom.
Naftogaz is prepared to pay $2 billion to Russian gas giant Gazprom before May 29 if the Ukrainian company agrees upon this payment with the authorities of Russia and Ukraine, European Commissioner for Energy Gunther Oettinger has said.
Naftogaz will be able to pay another $500 million to Gazprom by June 7, Oettinger said after talks between the Russian and Ukrainian energy ministers on Monday.

Front the South East War Civil War Front.....

RIA Novosti.....

Ukraine’s National Guard Uses Banned Explosive Bullets Near Luhansk

Ukraine’s National Guard Uses Banned Explosive Bullets Near Luhansk
12:37 28/05/2014
Tags: explosive bulletsNational GuardUkraineLuhansk
LUHANSK, May 28 (RIA Novosti) – Soldiers of Ukraine’s National Guard have used prohibited explosive bullets while shelling the city of Rubizhne, near Luhansk, a member of the local self-defense forces told RIA Novosti Wednesday.
“They have begun firing explosive bullets in residential areas. People have started hiding in basements,” he said. “Apparently, the National Guard is unaware that explosive bullets are banned by international convention,” he added.
Shooting has currently stopped in the area and there have been no reports of injuries.
Local residents reported earlier that shooting had resumed in the city and continued throughout the night in 5 to 10-minute intervals.
Pro-federalization protests have swept across Ukraine’s southeastern regions in response to the regime change in Kiev in February and ouster of country’s legitimate president Viktor Yanukovych.
In mid-April, Ukraine’s interim government launched a special operation to crack down on federalists, but failed to gain control over the self-proclaimed independent republics. Moscow described the operation as a punitive act.


Moscow Has Not Received Donetsk Republic’s Plea for Help

Meeting of Donetsk People's Republic Supreme Council
14:28 28/05/2014
Tags: Yury UshakovDonetskRussia
MOSCOW, May 28 (RIA Novosti) – Russia has not received any official request from the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) for Russian help, Presidential aide Yuri Ushakov said Wednesday.
“I did not see it [the request], it was not on my table, but if he [Republic’s Head Denis Pushilin] sent it, then it would probably arrive,” Ushakov said.
On Tuesday, Donetsk People’s Governor Denis Pushilin released an online video message asking Russia to provide the besieged region with “any possible help,” following a spike in hostilities around its capital city Donetsk. He also announced the DPR was switching to Russian law.
On Monday, Donetsk became the focal point of the Ukraine authorities’ “anti-terror” operation involving strike helicopters and fighter jets. After a battle at the Donetsk airport, the self-defense forces were forced to retreat. National Guard units of the Kiev regime moved out towards the center of the city, but federalists blocked their path with vehicles.
About 50 members of self-defense forces and 50 civilians were killed in Monday’s clashes with pro-Kiev troops in Donetsk.
The self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics in eastern Ukraine held referendums on self-determination on May 11, with over 90 percent of voters supporting greater autonomy. The two republics signed a treaty on May 24 to establish the Union of People’s Republics.


Russia Urges Kiev to Immediately Halt Violence

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov
15:24 27/05/2014
Tags: violenceSergei LavrovUkraineRussia
MOSCOW, May 27 (RIA Novosti) – Russia respects the will of the Ukrainian people expressed in Sunday’s presidential election, but urges Kiev to fulfill all its commitments under the Geneva agreements to halt violence in the country, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday.
“The election was held. We respect the results of the Ukrainian voters’ will, but believes that it is absolutely necessary and without any delay to fulfill the agreements reached in the framework of Geneva declaration of April 17, and to stop violence,” Lavrov said.
The Russian foreign minister added that Moscow was concerned not only by the fact that the election was held regardless of ongoing military actions, but by president-elect Petro Poroshenko’s statement calling for their intensification immediately after the voting process.
“Task number one and probably a test for the endurance of Kiev’s authorities, taking into account the results of the election, is to immediately halt military actions against civilians, and stop any kind of violence by all parties,” Lavrov said after a meeting with his Turkish counterpart, Ahmet Davutoglu.
Ukrainian troops have resumed the Kiev authorities' special operation in the east of the country, which had been suspended for Sunday’s presidential election, acting Deputy Prime Minister Vitaliy Yarema said Tuesday.
After claiming victory in the election, Poroshenko said the special operation in eastern Ukraine should continue and become more effective.
The statement came as Lavrov warned Monday the resumption of the special operation in eastern Ukraine would be a tremendous mistake. He expressed hope that Poroshenko, as Ukraine’s new president, would do his best to prevent extremist and radical views from becoming widespread.
On April 17, top diplomats from Russia, Ukraine, the EU and the US met in Geneva to agree on a number of conditions that urged the coup-imposed regime and its opposition in Ukraine to refrain from violence, extremism and provocations, to disarm militants and launch a national dialog on constitutional reform.
Despite the agreement, Kiev launched a special operation in mid-April to crack down on pro-federalization protests.