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Ukraine's failure to pay for natural gas supplied to the ex-Soviet
Ukraine's failure to pay for natural gas supplied to the ex-Soviet republic is depriving the Russian economy of additional investment and damaging domestic producers, a Gazprom spokesman said on Tuesday.

Gazprom announced on December 18 that Ukraine had no plans to repay its outstanding gas debt to Russia by the yearend. Ukraine's national oil and gas company Naftogaz said it was surprised by the Gazprom statement.

However, as of today, Ukraine has repaid only $1 billion out of its $2.4 billion debt for gas supplied in September, October and November. With December's supplies taken into account, Ukraine's gas debt is estimated at $3.2 billion.

"The funds of $2.15 billion, which Ukraine has not paid, should go towards the development of the Russian economy and keeping Russians in jobs," Sergei Kupriyanov said.

Kupriyanov cited Leonid Grigoryev, director of the Institute of Energy and Finances, who estimated that 1 ruble of capital investment in the Russian economy yields about 5 rubles in GDP growth.

"Ukraine's non-payment of gas is actually reducing the production costs for Ukrainian goods and making them more competitive on external markets, including Russia," Kupriyanov said.

"Considering that a larger part of goods imported from Ukraine are also produced in Russia, gas non-payments are damaging, in the first place, those sectors, with which Ukrainian goods are competing on the Russian market," Kupriyanov said.


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