Kiev was supposed to pay $1.951 billion for Russian natural gas before 10:00 a.m. on June 16, but has not transferred the required amount. Russia's Gazprom has thus introduced the prepayment system for Ukraine for unpaid debt, under contractual terms.
Russia, Ukraine and the EU have held nine rounds of talks on the gas issue, and the last of them has not brought any progress on the gas issue.
Kiev has paid about $800 million in debt, but the Ukrainian authorities do not want to pay the rest, because they believe the new price is unacceptable.
Ukrainian Rada-appointed Prime Minister Yatsenyuk had previously instructed adequate departments of the Ukrainian government to get ready for the termination of gas supplies from Russia from 16 June 2014.
Last Wednesday, Russia offered Ukraine the price of $385 per 1,000 cubic meters. Kiev declined the offer and continued to insist on the price of $268.5. Presently, the price of 1,000 cubic meters of Russian natural gas for Ukraine amounts to $485.
The European Commission, in turn, suggests the parties need to set the price within the limits of $350-390 and establish the schedule to pay Ukraine's enormous gas debt. According to European officials, the price would match the level of gas prices for European companies.
More than 3,500 people were detained during unprecedented mass protests that swept across all of Russia in support of Alexey Navalny on January 23