The relationship between Ukraine and Russia is tense but it was just aggravated after Gazprom cut off the natural gas supply to Ukraine, while also warning Europe that this can reduce gas amounts flowing towards other countries. The cutoff appeared after Ukraine did not pay an almost $2 billion installment after a deadline imposed by Russia.
The gas that now flows into Ukraine is only meant to transit the country so that it reaches Europe. According to Sergei Kupriyanov, Gazprom spokesman:
“Gazprom supplies to Ukraine only the amount that has been paid for, and the amount that has been paid for is zero.”
The current dispute is about a $4.5 billion bill that is unpaid at the moment. Ukraine currently disputes the amount. In addition, there is no agreement about the future price that is to be paid or if a new contract will be signed.
Russia currently wants $385 per 1000 cubic meters, just like the rest of Europe. Kiev authorities want to pay $268 per 1000 cubic meters, a discounted price that it received as a former Soviet republic.
While Ukrainian authorities link the natural gas supply cut to events going on in the country, Gazprom simply say that Ukraine needs to pay off its debt.