MINSK, March 26 (RIA Novosti) – Russian energy giant Gazpom said Wednesday its annual financial plan and the volume of gas supplies transiting through Ukraine remain unaffected by the ongoing political crisis in Kiev.
The head of Gazprom’s financial department, Andrei Kruglov, told reporters that the events in Ukraine, where a new government took power as a result of an illegitimate coup last month, “have not influenced the projected figures at all.”
He also reassured Russian gas consumers in Europe that the company would fulfill all contractual obligations.
“All transit volumes are in line with contracts. We have seen no problems and I hope we won’t see them in future,” Kruglov said.
Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said earlier this month Ukraine’s unpaid gas debt may affect the company’s dividend payments and investment programs.
Crisis-hit Ukraine owes Russia about $1.7 billion in unpaid natural gas bills after failing to pay for February supplies.
Under a deal signed between Gazprom and Ukraine’s Naftogaz in December, Russia granted Ukraine a 33 percent discount for natural gas starting at the beginning of this year. According to the terms of the agreement, the deal must be renewed each quarter.
Gazprom has already announced that it will annul its discount on natural gas sales to Ukraine beginning in April, following last month’s ouster of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.
Russian and Ukrainian leaders signed an agreement in spring 2010 to extend the lease of the Black Sea Fleet’s base in Crimea in return for a gas discount. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said last week the provision is no longer applicable following Crimea’s reunification with Russia.
Gazprom’s board of directors approved a financial plan for 2014 in December, which envisions revenues of over 5.552 trillion rubles ($156.6 billion) from operating and investment activities, with expenditures totaling 5.651 trillion rubles ($159.4 billion).
The company’s external financial borrowings will stand at 90 billion rubles ($2.5 billion), while its budget surplus is expected to reach 500 million rubles ($14.1 million), according to the plan.