Kremlin says gas transit agreements with Ukraine still in jeopardy

11:40, 21 May 2009
Ukraine
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President Dmitry Medvedev will raise the question

President Dmitry Medvedev will raise the question of uninterrupted gas supplies from Russia to Europe through Ukraine at the upcoming Russia-EU summit in Khabarovsk on May 22, presidential aide Sergei Prikhodko said, Itar-Tass reported.

“I can say with a high decree of probability that President Medvedev will inquire about the EU position and prospects for further actions, collective or individual, to be undertaken by our European partners in connection with the remaining danger for Europe due to our unsettled relations with Ukraine in the gas sector,” the aide said.

“It is one thing that they [European partners] have signed a declaration on the modernisation of the Ukrainian gas transportation system. But the question remains if they are really determined to help where this help is needed, specifically to provide additional funding because the Ukrainian debt is growing,” Prikhodko said.

“This issue is constantly discussed with [Ukrainian] Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, but internal political cataclysms affect relations between Ukraine and Gazprom,” he added.

Russia intends to “raise this issue [at the Russia-EU summit] openly and straightforwardly and share its concerns about the remaining risk of foiling the agreements reached with the Ukrainian prime minister”, the official said.

In January 2009, after a three-week gas stalemate, Ukraine and Russia signed agreements on natural gas supplies and gas transit via Ukraine’s gas transportation system up to 2020, which calls for the elimination of intermediaries and determine a pricing formula for gas and its transit.

However in March Russian-Ukrainian gas relations aggravated again because of the Brussels declaration on the modernisation of the Ukrainian gas transportation system signed in a EU-Ukraine format and neglecting Russia’s position.

In particular, the document calls for increasing the throughput capacity of the Ukrainian gas transportation system and gas supplies via it to Europe.

The declaration was criticised by Russia and its closest partners at the political and expert levels. 

Itar-Tass

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