Naftogaz CEO says the Ukrainian state energy giant will be out of default soon

The CEO of Ukrainian state energy giant Naftogaz said the company is working toward resolving its debt default problems quickly.

Oleksiy Chernyshov told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Tuesday that he is in the final stages of getting the company back on track.

“By the end of this month, we’re planning to find the consent solicitation with our bondholders to restructure,” Chernyshov said. “This is happening now quite intensively. My plan within two weeks is to finalize this process.”

Naftogaz was the first Ukrainian government-owned entity to default since Russia invaded the country in February. 

Last year, the company said the deadline for payments to holders of Naftogaz Eurobonds expired on July 26 without payment taking place.

“As this failure to meet its Eurobond obligations effectively deprives Naftogaz of access to international capital markets, the Cabinet of Ministers as the responsible party now assumes full responsibility for raising the funds necessary for the import of natural gas for the 2022-2023 heating season,” the company said.

Chernyshov said as CEO of Naftogaz his responsibility is to secure production of natural gas in the country, “meaning facilitation and motivation of private producers to produce more and that’s what we’re doing,” he noted.

“Naftogaz will buy from private producers that produce gas on the market base price. Yeah, my task is to increase the production of natural gas in Ukraine.”

Correction: The text of this story has been updated with the correct name of the Naftogaz CEO. The photo was also replaced.

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