National Bank of Ukraine agrees on possible payments for Russian gas in rubles
The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) has agreed on the possibility of making payments for Russian natural gas in rubles. Such a decision was taken after a meeting between NBU Governor Serhiy Arbuzov, Acting Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov, and senior managers from the Central Bank of Russia and Gazprom, the NBU's press service has reported.
According to the report, the agreements reached by the sides give Ukraine some space for maneuvering when paying for imports, in particular, for natural gas, and will also help it avoid fluctuations on the currency market in the event of financial settlements with Russian companies.
As UKRINFORM reported, Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, at a meeting held in St. Petersburg on October 19, discussed the possibility of switching payments for Russian gas from U.S. dollars to Russian rubles.
In October 2011, Ukraine's state oil and gas company Naftogaz transferred about USD 867 million to Gazprom for natural gas supplied to Ukraine in September 2011.
In general, according to government figures, Ukraine paid about UAH 70 billion for natural gas imports in 2011.
In the fourth quarter of 2011, the basic price of gas for Ukraine should amount to USD 564 per 1,000 cubic meters.
On October 26, Azarov said that Ukraine and Russia were close to reaching a compromise on a gas contract. He noted that the issue concerned a "big package of documents outlining the entire spectrum of relations" and that this decision may be beneficial to both parties. The prime minister refused to disclose other details, adding that the compromise is not linked to the issue of Ukraine's accession to the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.