Ukraine likely to cut gas supply to Europe

March 4th, 2008 - 11:32 pm ICT by admin  

Kiev, March 4 (Xinhua) Ukraine’s state gas company Naftogaz said Tuesday that it may reduce gas supplies to Europe if Russia cuts gas deliveries to Ukraine by another 25 percent. “Naftogaz recognizes that it can guarantee uninterrupted gas transit to Europe, but we reserve the right to take appropriate action if Ukraine’s energy security comes under threat,” Naftogaz said in a statement.

The statement came on the same day when Russia’s natural gas company Gazprom said it will cut gas deliveries to Ukraine by another 25 percent effective from 8 p.m. Tuesday, following a previous 25-percent cut Monday.

Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov said Monday Ukraine had consumed without Russian authorisation around 1.9 billion cubic metres of Russian natural gas from the beginning of this year, worth some $600 million.

The gas row was triggered after the two sides failed at the last minute to sign a deal, under which they would agree that Ukraine would pay its debt for Russian gas deliveries and that a new delivery scheme would be worked out.

In the statement, Naftogaz also called on Gazprom to resume negotiations to achieve a mutually beneficial agreement.

Ukraine sits on the main transit route for Russia’s gas exports to Europe, where nearly a quarter of Europe’s gas comes through Ukraine.

A similar dispute between Moscow and Kiev sent jitters into European customers in 2006 as Gazprom cut all gas supplies to Ukraine.


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