Armed men enter Naftogaz headquarters in Ukraine, spokesman says

13:31, 04 March 2009
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National security service agents began questioning a top accountant

Ukrainian national security service agents raided the headquarters of the country`s troubled natural gas company Wednesday and began questioning a top accountant and searching for documents, officials said.

The raid by armed agents wearing masks was in connection with a criminal investigation launched this week into the alleged diversion of gas worth around 7.4 billion hryvna ($900 million), SBU national security service spokeswoman Marina Ostapenko told The Associated Press.

Details on the criminal case were not immediately available.

Naftogaz has been in the focus of disputes with Russia over payment for Russian gas. The most serious dispute prompted a two-week cutoff of gas in January that severely affected supplies throughout Europe.

Russia has repeatedly accused Ukraine of siphoning off natural gas that was heading through Ukrainian pipelines en route to European customers.

AP via International Herald Tribune

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