Russia's Gazprom may charge Ukraine $2.7-5.7 bn fine: report

Russian gas behemoth Gazprom's claims against Ukraine's Naftogaz could reach at least $2.7 billion if the latter imports only 27 billion cubic metres (bcm) of natural gas versus the contracted 33 bcm, Ukrainian newspaper Kiyv Post reported Saturday citing preliminary calculations by experts.

The president of Ukrainian bar association for foreign affairs Danylo Kurdelchuk and partner of international business advisory firm Grant Thronton Oleksandar Malynovsky said that the shortfall could reach over 6 bcm from the acceptable minimum amount of gas under the terms of the current contract.

The penalties could mount to $3.8 billion of gas imports in 2013 if Naftogaz reduces the purchase to 24.5 bcm, as announced by the energy and coal industry minister Yuriy Boiko.

The figure could reach a whopping $5.7 billion if Naftogaz imports only 20 bcm as indicated by the company's deputy chairman of the board Vadym Chuprun, the lawyers said.

The fines have been calculated based on the fourth quarter price of gas which is $430 per 1,000 cubic metres.

Meanwhile, on Friday Ukraine's president Viktor Yanukovych said at a meeting with Interfax group chairman and CEO Mikhail Komissar that the country has to reduce purchases of Russian natural gas under price pressure and plans to buy only 18 bcm in 2013.