In his address at today`s National Security and Defense Council meeting President Victor Yushchenko expressed concerns about the situation in gas industry, particularly with talks with Russian Gazprom on gas imports in 2009. “I demand the Government to begin official talks”, - he said, according to the President`s press-office.

He also expressed concerns about problems with NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine, particularly the unbalanced financial plan of the company. “Neither the NSDC decision of February 1, 2008 nor the financial plan of the company, adopted half of the year late are implemented by the Government”, - he added.

As the result the deficit of funds of the company currently amounts to 9,1 billion hryvnyas. According to President that means the problems of year 2008 will remain in 2009 because only 8,7 billion is foreseen by draft Budget 2009 to cover the deficit of the company which is clearly not enough to even deal with this year`s deficit.

“That means either that consumer prices for gas will be altered next year ... or that the volume of funds provided for compensation of the difference is understated”, - said Victor Yushchenko.

Beside that, when speaking about problems in gas field President Yushchenko expressed opinion that the prices for energy do not correspond economically founded levels.

He stressed that when forming prices for energy the state should make them lower for vulnerable strata of society and higher for large businesses and companies, not vice versa.