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Gazprom says Ukraine refused to pump extra 15 mln cu m to Europe

RIA Novosti

05/01/2009 15:40 MOSCOW, January 5 (RIA Novosti) - Ukraine's Naftogaz refused a request by Gazprom to pump an additional 15 million cubic meters of Russian gas to European consumers, the Russian energy giant's press service said on Monday.

"Naftogaz of Ukraine yesterday refused to accept from Gazprom an additional 15 million cubic meters of gas per day through the Kobrin facility as requested by foreign customers," the press service said.

Gazprom cut off gas supplies to Ukraine on Thursday after last-ditch talks with Kiev on a new deal for 2009 and debt repayments failed late on New Year's Eve. Some European countries, including Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Romania, have reported drops in Russian gas supplied through Ukraine's pipeline network.

Official spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov said that Gazprom had pumped 295 million cubic meters of gas into the Ukrainian pipeline system on Sunday but European consumers had only received 270 million cubic meters.

He said another 25 million cubic meters had been withheld from European consumers because Naftogaz had not transferred the required volume from its underground storage facilities for gas trader RosUkrEnergo to export.

Naftogaz said on Monday that a Kiev court had ruled that contracts with Gazprom on the transit of gas via Ukraine to Europe were null and void.

In response to a claim by Ukraine's energy ministry, the Kiev economic court ruled on Monday that Naftogaz could not pump Russian gas westwards at a price of $1.6 for 1,000 cubic meters per 100 kilometers.

"It means that the contracts to which Gazprom are refering are void," Naftogaz spokesman Valentin Zemlyansky told RIA Novosti.

He referred to an October 4, 2001, agreement between the Russian and Ukrainian governments that he said remained in force. "If we talk about a price of $450 for 1,000 cubic meters then the rate for the transit of gas should be $9.84 per 1,000 cubic meters per 100 kilometers," Zemlyansky said.

Gazprom CEO said on Sunday that Ukraine should pay $450 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas in 2009. Naftogaz has rejected the figure stating that it is prepared to pay $200-235. In 2008 Ukraine paid $179.5 per 1,000 cu m.

Both Gazprom and Ukraine's state-run Naftogaz have said that they will file lawsuits with the Stockholm Arbitration Court, which deals with international commercial legal disputes. The court on Monday said it could not comment on whether it was considering lawsuits from either party in the gas dispute.



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