Gazprom warns of tensions with Ukraine

12:09, 17 December 2007
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If new govt tries to amend price accords

Russian energy giant Gazprom Sunday warned of a risk of "tensions" with Ukraine`s future government, two days before a vote in the Ukrainian parliament on pro-Western Yulia Tymoshenko for prime minister, according to RIA Novosti.

"Today, the only place where there could be tensions is in Ukraine," said Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kuprianov on the Russian news channel Vesti 24.

Problems could arise "if a new government is elected that tries to modify the accord signed" earlier this month concerning the price of gas deliveries to Ukraine, he said.

"There have been statements in that regard by the Ukrainian party and that worries us," he added, alluding to comments by Tymoshenko`s party.

On Dec 4, Ukraine and Russia agreed on the price for gas deliveries in 2008 at 179.5 usd (122 eur) per 1,000 cubic meters.

The current price for Russian gas paid by Ukraine is 130 usd.

However, a lawmaker from the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc, which is set to form Ukraine`s governing coalition, criticised the deal, saying it was proof of the "incapacity" of outgoing, pro-Moscow prime minister Viktor Yanukovych.

Russia cut off gas supplies to Ukraine in 2006 after Kiev refused to accept a much higher price for imports.

The move subsequently disrupted gas supplies to EU countries further downstream, raising criticism that Moscow was using its energy resources to put pressure on neighbouring governments.

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