After 'billing' Ukraine this morning, Gazprom must be jubilant this evening as news exudes from Washington that...
- *IMF APPROVES UKRAINE LOAN OF $17 BLN OVER TWO YEARS
- *UKRAINE EXPECTS FIRST TRANCHE OF IMF AID MAY 5-MAY 8: FIN MIN
- *IMF SAYS IMMEDIATE UKRAINE LOAN DISBURSEMENT TO BE $3.2 BLN
So that won't even cover the $3.49bn they already owe to Gazprom? (In fact, $2.2bn is approved for dissemination to Gazprom)
Remember we were already told by Ukraine that:
- *UKRAINE ENERGY MIN DOESN'T AGREE WITH GAZPROM'S LATEST BILL
- *UKRAINE ENERGY MIN SAYS CAN'T PAY PRICE GAZPROM IS PROPOSING
So - which is it? Won't Pay or Can't Pay?
As Bloomberg reports,
The government plans to use $2 billion from the first disbursement to support the budget as it seeks to trim the fiscal gap to 8.5 percent of gross domestic product this year and 6.1 percent in 2015, according to the document. The shortfall includes subsidies to state-run energy company NAK Naftogaz Ukrainy.
Part of the IMF money will help Ukraine settle $2.2 billion in back payments to Russian state-controlled OAO Gazprom for natural gas and pay for future imports. Gazprom said it will ask Ukraine to pay $485 per 1,000 cubic meters in the second quarter, more than the European market price.
After twice freezing loans to Ukraine since 2008, the fund is banking on the interim government’s resolve to tackle unpopular measures such as the phasing out of natural-gas subsidies.
The fund approval clears the way for additional aid from the European Union and the U.S. just as they widen sanctions against Russia for its actions in Ukraine.
“The authorities’ economic program supported by the fund aims to restore macroeconomic stability, strengthen economic governance and transparency, and launch sound and sustainable economic growth, while protecting the most vulnerable,” the Washington-based IMF said in an e-mailed statement today.
Remember, this is all about ensuring Europe gets it gas - since Russia/Gazprom had said no more through Ukraine pipelines if the bill was not paid since they were afraid of stealing.