Naftogaz, Ukraine's national oil and gas company, should reduce its debt from excess natural gas consumption to $100 million by July 1, the deputy chairman of Russian energy giant Gazprom's managing committee said Tuesday, RIA Novosti reported.

Alexander Ryazanov said, "We hope that by July 1 the debt will reach $100 mln, and will be fully repaid by September."

The debt stood at $370 mln as of June 15.

Ryazanov also said Naftogaz should store about 16 billion cu m of natural gas in underground storage facilities before October to ensure steady supply for winter and spring of next year.

"If Ukraine maintains the current storage rates, it will have the same problems it had last year, and it will certainly affect Russia," Ryazanov said.


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