Russian energy giant Gazprom confirmed yesterday that Ukraine has at long last settled a debt of nearly $2bn USD. The Ukrainian state energy firm Naftogaz has similarly published that it transferred a sum totaling $1.65bn USD to Gazprom accounts in Moscow. The payment comes as the second of two commiserate payments made to Gazprom over the last several months. Representatives from Ukraine and Russia had been deadlocked over payments due to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine’s east, and the two sides had been at loggerheads for far longer over late payments. Energy relations between the two sides reached a low point when Russia cut off all natural gas exports to Ukraine for a period of six months.
The European Union has served as a mediator throughout negotiations, as well as a key provider of aid to the Ukrainian government. Despite the resolution of Ukraine’s debt to Gazprom, the Ukrainian economy remains in dire straits and dependent on the International Monetary Fund, which allotted an estimated $17bn to bailout the Ukrainian economy. Had the IMF failed to approve large-scale loans it is unlikely that the country would have been able to repay its debts.
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