KIEV, October 30 (RIA Novosti) — Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said Thursday that he would discuss ways of financing Ukraine's energy expenditure with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US Vice President Joe Biden.
"Today I will hold a number of telephone talks with US Vice President Biden, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and one of the main issues that we will discuss will be the gas agreement and additional financial measures that will allow Ukraine to stabilize its budget and to pay the energy bills," Yatsenyuk said at a ministerial meeting.
Ukraine currently receives gas only through reverse flows as Russian energy giant Gazprom switched the country to a prepayment system over its gas debt of more than $5 billion. In September, Russia and the European Commission proposed the so-called winter package, according to which Ukraine should pay $3.1 billion of its debt to Russia by the end of the year in exchange for gas deliveries during the winter period.
Earlier in the day, Ukrainian authorities confirmed their readiness to pay the requested $3.1 billion, with the first tranche of $1.45 billion being transferred in the near future and the second payment of $1.65 billion to take place by the end of the year. Russia, Ukraine and the European Union resumed negotiations on a temporary gas delivery agreement on Wednesday.