Friday, May 30, 2014

Ukraine Updates May 30 , 2014 -- Kiev continues Special Op in restive East , Kiev continues to fail to pay its Gazprom natural gas bill , Nato tries to pressure France to renege on ship deal with Russia ......



Itar Tass....


RF minister: Gazprom has more grounds to seek arbitration over gas dispute with Ukraine

 May 30, 22:17 UTC+4
Ukraine’s parliament-appointed Minister of Energy said that Kiev was ready to file a suit against Russia to the court of arbitration in Stockholm to make Gazprom revise its contract prices for gas
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak

© ITAR-TASS/Dmitry Astakhov
BERLIN, May 30. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s gas utility Gazprom has much more grounds to seek arbitration on the gas dispute that Ukraine, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Friday after the gas consultations involving Russia, Ukraine and the European Commission.
“We think Gazprom has more grounds to appeal to arbitration court that the Ukrainian side,” he told journalists. “It is a long procedure and we don’t think it is constructive. It would be right to try to reach an agreement off arbitration bodies.”
Earlier on Friday, Ukraine’s parliament-appointed Minister of Energy and Coal Industry Yuri Prodan said that Kiev was ready to file a suit against Russia’s Gazprom to the court of arbitration in Stockholm to make Gazprom revise its contract prices for gas.















Russia energy minister says gas talks with Ukraine, EC constructive

 May 30, 20:20 UTC+4
Advance payment regime for Russian gas supplies to Ukraine in June is not ruled out as of yet
© AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov
BERLIN, May 30. /ITAR-TASS/. Gas talks Russia held with Ukraine and the European Commission were "constructive", Russian Minister of Energy Alexander Novak said on Friday after the third round of gas consultations in Berlin.
Advance payment regime for Russian gas supplies to Ukraine in June is not ruled out as of yet, Novak added. Russia is worried over Ukraine’s financial situation, bearing in mind its debts for Russian gas, he stressed.
“We discussed the issue of financial aid to Ukraine from the European Union, international crediting organizations,” he said. “The Russian side expressed serious concern over the financial aspects of the Ukrainian crisis.”
“Payment arrears do not add trust to the relations between partners, steps are needed to re-build it,” Novak said, adding that Russia waited for Kiev to repay “at least those debts it does not challenge."

Ukraine not going to pay $500 per 1,000 cu m
Ukraine will never buy Russian gas at a price of $500 per 1,000 cubic meters, since such price is unacceptable, Ukraine’s parliament-appointed Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said on Friday.
On Monday, Yatsenyuk said that gas talks with Russia would end with either signing of a new gas agreement or with Kiev’s appeal to the international court of arbitration. Ukraine, in his words, had prepared a package of documents for that.

Ukraine says it repaid part of gas debt
Ukraine said it had transferred the payment for part of its gas debt to Russia, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said.
“Liabilities are considered discharged not at the moment of money transfer but at the moment of its passing to the account of the creditor, that is to the Gazprom account," Medvedev said.
“When Gazprom receives the money, we will see it, and that will be a different story. But today we must make sure that Ukraine is willing to pay,” he stressed. “Any other presentation of the problem is impossible: when I hear them saying ‘give us other price and then we will pay,’ I think that’s preposterous, reliable partners do not behave that way, and even less reliable partners never do that.”
He said he hoped Ukraine would finally pay what it owed for the Russian gas.































Gas talks in Berlin coincide with deadline for Ukraine’s debt repayment for Russian gas





Economy

 May 30, 14:31 UTC+4
The deadline was set at the latest tripartite meeting in Berlin on May 26 when a compromise had been reached to settle Ukraine’s debt for Russian gas
© ITAR-TASS/Vitaly Grabar
MOSCOW, May 30. /ITAR-TASS/. Three-party gas talks within the Russia-Ukraine-EU format have coincided with the deadline for repayment by Ukraine’s Naftogaz of $2 billion of debt for the supplied Russian gas.
The deadline was set at the latest tripartite meeting in Berlin on May 26 when a compromise had been reached to settle Ukraine’s debt for Russian gas. The deadline expired on Friday, May 30.
From June 1 Ukraine’s debt will exceed $5 billion.
It is supposed that before the end of the week Naftogaz will transfer $2 billion to Russia’s Gazprom, thereby partially repaying the debt for the already supplied gas and, not later than on June 7, remit another $500 million as an advance payment for June deliveries.
Earlier Gazprom had insisted Naftogaz pay off the debt on the amount of almost $2.3 billion.
If Ukraine violates the payment scheme, approved at the latest Berlin meeting, Gazprom will stop gas supplies to Ukraine from June 3.
In case of an unsanctioned off-take of gas by Ukraine, Russia intends to introduce “an early warning” mechanism for creating a group of specialists who will monitor and record the amounts of gas supplies to Ukraine.
Naftogaz of Ukraine has money to pay debts (about $2 billion) after the company augmented its capital by issuing additional shares with the state ownership of 100% of shares preserved.
At the Berlin talks, Russia will be represented by Energy Minister Alexander Novak. Ukraine’s delegation will be led by acting Minister of Energy and Coal Industry Yuriy Prodan. European Commissioner for Energy Guenther Oettinger will represent the EU.
Russia believes that discounts to Ukraine can be discussed. However, Gazprom says it does not intend to revise the 2009 contract.
Ukraine says it will pay back debts for Russian gas within 10 days if Gazprom agreed to set the price at $268.5 per 1,000 cubic meters.
On April 30 Ukraine’s debt reached $3.5 billion.
On April 1, Gazprom cancelled two discounts and raised the price for Ukraine to $485.5 per 1,000 cubic meters.



US Congress persuades NATO to scuttle Mistral warships deal between Russia and France

 May 30, 11:50 UTC+4
If the contract is terminated, France will owe over €1.2 billion to Russia
Mistral helicopter carrier (archive)

Mistral helicopter carrier (archive)

© EPA/ANATOLY MALTSEV
WASHINGTON, May 30. /ITAR-TASS/. The US has been interfering with the France-Russia deal on the Mistral helicopter carrier: a group of democratic members of the Congress has sent a letter to NATO’s secretary general urging to persuade Paris to refuse from the deal with Moscow and to sell the warships to NATO. The initiative was supposed to become a “strong signal” to Russia concerning Ukraine.
The US has been making several attempts to scuttle the contract, where the French authorities confirm the obligations are observed properly. France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said during his visit to Washington in May, Russia had paid over half the contract price and thus no legal grounds existed for saying “no.”
However, the Mistral story is not over. Paris claimed a “final decision” was due in October after a legal analysis of the deal. That would refer to the economic sanctions against Russia as the Mistral contract is on the list of the third sanctions against the Russian Federation.
If the contract is terminated, France will owe over €1.2 billion to Russia. The amount covers the deal for two ships and fines for France’s termination of the contract. Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin forecasts the wave around the situation in Ukraine would fade away and currently European politicians should think about consequences for interests of their own countries.
The contract worth €1.12 billion on construction of the helicopter carriers for Russia’s Navy is dated 2011. Under the contract, France is to build at the STX shipyard in Saint-Nazaire. The first ship is due to be ready in October, and the other one - in 2016.
Russia’s defense products exporting authority (Rosoboronexport) hopes the French side would not change the contract. A breach of legally binding conditions will cause a response, the authority’s representative told ITAR-TASS.


Russia Today....

Military op to continue in E. Ukraine until 'stability' restored - defense minister

Published time: May 30, 2014 07:50
Edited time: May 30, 2014 09:56

Ukrainian army soldiers (AFP Photo / Genya Savilov)
Ukrainian army soldiers (AFP Photo / Genya Savilov)
Kiev army will continue military operation against the country’s east until the situation in the region stabilizes, says Ukraine’s Defense Minister.
Kiev government has launched a massive military offensive in the east of Ukraine which claimed dozens of lives, both among the militias and local civilians. Schools, kindergarten and hospitals in several cities came under fire.
"We will work until the region begins live and function normally and people will get peace,” said acting Defense Minister Mikhail Koval during a briefing.
A Ukrainian soldier (AFP Photo / Genya Savilov)
A Ukrainian soldier (AFP Photo / Genya Savilov)

He added that the south and west of Donetsk Region and the north of Lugansk region have been‘freed’ during the military operations in the Ukrainian east.
Koval said that more than 20 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed during the Kiev crackdown in eastern Ukraine.
Meanwhile, according to officials from the People’s Republic of Donetsk, over 100 people have been killed during the offensives.
An RT report showed more horror suffered by innocent civilians from Ukraine’s eastern region of Donetsk, who were shelled in Kiev’s so-called “anti-terrorist” operation.

Hospitals, schools under Kiev fire

Kiev troops have intensified military operations on eastern Ukraine since April. They are using artillery and aviation in a bid to take control of the restive region.
On Friday, Kiev forces renewed the shelling on Slavyansk, in the Donetsk region, residents there told RT. The militia targeted a local children's hospital and a clinic.
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Детская больница после утреннего обстрела. 30.05.2014
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PHOTO: Shelled school in , E. http://on.rt.com/1q9y34