KIEV (AFP) – Ukraine’s prime minister said Thursday he would ask the United States and Germany for help paying Kiev’s gas
debt to Moscow so that Russia could resume supplies.
Arseniy Yatsenyuk told a cabinet meeting he planned to speak to US Vice President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Angela Merkel later Thursday as EU-mediated negotiations between Russian and Ukrainian energy officials continue in Brussels.
Yatsenyuk said he would discuss the provision of “additional financial instruments for Ukraine that would help stabilise the budget and pay our energy bills”.
Several acrimonious rounds of gas talks have failed to resolve a dispute stemming from Kiev’s refusal to pay a higher rate imposed by Moscow in the wake of the February ouster of Ukraine’s Kremlin-backed president.
Russia’s state energy holding company Gazprom cut Ukraine’s gas deliveries in June – the third such interruption in less than 10 years.
The halt did not immediately impact European clients that receive about half their Russian shipments through Ukraine.
But EU nations fear that Ukraine – its fuel supplies running critically low heading into the winter – may be forced out of desperation to tap into the gas it transports westwards.