Ukraine asks Gazprom to reduce gas supplies in 2009
Naftogaz says changes to the contract should be agreed
Ukraine`s national oil and gas company Naftogaz has asked Russia`s Gazprom to reduce gas supplies to the country from the contracted 40 billion cu m to 33 billion in 2009, a presidential aide said on Thursday, RIA Novosti reported.
Earlier this month, Naftogaz warned it might face problems paying for gas supplied by the Russian gas monopoly as Ukrainian utility companies were delaying payments leaving the state-run gas firm short of funds.
Bohdan Sokolovskiy acknowledged that changes to the contract should be agreed at least six months in advance, but stressed the deal signed on January 19 was far form ideal and had been signed without thorough specialist consideration.
The deal led to the restart of supplies to Ukraine, which Gazprom suspended on January 1 over a gas pricing and debt dispute. It was signed after uneasy talks mediated by the EU, shipments to which were also cut off after Gazprom accused Ukraine of siphoning off Europe-bound gas.
The standoff was resolved after negotiations between Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart, Yulia Tymoshenko. The gas supply and transit contract signed on January 19 by Gazprom and Naftogaz states that the Russian energy giant has the right to switch to 100% prepayment for supplies if payment is delayed.
Sokolovskiy said in a statement posted on the president`s website that Ukraine should immediately start negotiations on gas supplies in 2010-2019 to reduce gas deliveries in line with Kyiv`s energy strategy.