Ukraine wants its pipelines to be part of EU market
To boost supply security on the continent
Ukraine`s President Viktor Yushchenko on Monday called on the European Union to incorporate Ukraine`s gas and oil pipelines into its overall energy network to boost supply security on the continent, according to Reuters.Yushchenko, addressing a news conference alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel, reiterated Ukraine`s pledge to provide uninterrupted transit of Russian gas and oil supplies to customers in western Europe.
"We would like the European union to consider Ukraine`s oil and gas transit network as an integral part of the unified European market," Yushchenko said.
"Ukraine`s gas transit transportation system could play a constructive role in the stability of the European gas market...Ukraine will faithfully carry out all the obligations it has assumed."
Russia and Ukraine have had periodic disputes over supplies of gas to Ukraine and onward transit to Europe.
One row in early 2006 prompted a temporary cut in supplies which sharply reduced flows to Europe -- Russia supplies a quarter of Europe`s gas needs and 80 percent of that pass through the ex-Soviet state.
Ukraine itself now pays $179.50 per 1,000 cubic metres of Russian gas against $130 last year and $50 in 2005 and hopes to conclude a long-term deal on supplies.
Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom has said it wants to raise prices to European levels of $400-500 by next year.
Ukraine has repeatedly accused Russia of using gas as a political lever against its ex-Soviet neighbour and Yushchenko said he wanted to rule out any such incidents in future.
"The notion of prices starts with what needs to be done so that there is no political price for energy, to create a clear form of pricing, a formula which cannot be used for political blackmail or other improper things," he said.