Gazprom says to pay $1 bln to Ukraine for gas transit in advance
MOSCOW, June 26 (Reuters) - Russia's gas export monopoly Gazprom said on Wednesday it would pay $1 billion up front to Ukraine for gas transit to finance Kiev's purchases of gas for storage and to secure shipments to Europe in the winter of 2013/14.
Gazprom ships more than half of its gas to Europe via Ukraine. This year it aims to increase exports to Europe, where it provides a quarter of gas needs, to 150 billion cubic metres from 138 bcm last year.
The company also said its upfront payments to Ukraine's Naftogaz state energy company totalled $5.15 billion - enough to cover the transit fees until the beginning of 2015. The company's statement did not make clear whether this included the $1 billion for the coming winter.
(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Anthony Barker)