On March 24-26 in Ashgabat, a delegation of NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine held negotiations with the Ministry of Oil and Gas Industry and Mineral Resources of Turkmenistan and SC Turkmengaz. In the course of the talks, the parties discussed the burning issues concerning the payments for the Turkmen natural gas supplied in 2003-2005 and gas supplies in 2006.
As of March 24, 2006, Ukraine owed a total of USD 169.614 million to Turkmenistan for the natural gas supplied in 2003-2005, including:
- overdue payments amounting to USD 80.044 million, including:
- USD 46.85 in cash (USD 30.07 million due to be paid by February 19, 2006 and USD 16.78 million due to be paid by January 31, 2006);
- USD 33.194 million in goods (due to be shipped by January 1, 2006).
- due payments amounting to USD 89.57 million, including:
- USD 79.83 million in goods which have not been supplied by NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine because the Turkmen side has failed to distribute quotas on these goods among its ministries and institutions;
- USD 4.165 million in goods to be shipped by April 1, 2006;
- USD 5.575 million in goods to be shipped by August 1, 2006.
At the same time, NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine made an advance payment of USD 88.34 million in January 2006 for gas to be supplied in 2006. In January-February, Turkmenistan did not supply natural gas to Ukraine.
After the talks, the parties signed an agreement on the payments for the Turkmen natural gas supplied to Ukraine in 2003-2005 and supplementary agreements to appropriate contracts, having ultimately settled the question of payments for the Turkmen gas supplied to Ukraine in 2003-2005.
The Turkmen side proposed and the Ukrainian side agreed that the advance payment of USD 88.34 million made by NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine for gas to be supplied in 2006 go to the account of Naftogaz of Ukraine’s debt for the Turkmen gas supplied in 2003-2005. After all the new agreements between Ukraine and Turkmenistan have been formalized, Naftogaz of Ukraine’s debt for the Turkmen gas received in 2003-2005 looks as follows:
- the cash portion of the debt has been cleared;
- the commodity portion of the debt totals USD 68.068 million, including USD 58.328 million worth of large diameter pipes to be supplied by August 10, 2006; USD 4.165 million worth of goods specified earlier to be supplied by April 1, 2006; and USD 5.575 million worth of goods specified earlier to be supplied by August 1, 2006.
In addition, the parties agreed to settle by May 1, 2006 the discrepancies concerning the acceptance of USD 4.051 million worth of the goods that have already been delivered to Turkmenistan.
As to the supplies of Turkmen natural gas to Ukraine in 2006, the Turkmen side said the supplies may start in the second half of 2006, pointing out that Turkmenistan will supply its natural gas at prices affordable for Ukraine.