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Markets

Ukraine to seek better gas deal without Gazprom merger

DUSHANBE : Ukraine will appeal to the International Court if Russia does not offer a better deal on natural gas de
03 Sep 2011

 DUSHANBE: Ukraine will appeal to the International Court if Russia does not offer a better deal on natural gas deliveries, and is not planning to merge its oil and gas firm Naftogaz with Russia's Gazprom, Ukrainian President said on Saturday.

"We have faced a situation when Ukraine is loosing big money (on Russian gas)... If Russia does not agree with it (to offer better conditions on gas deliveries), certainly, we will have to go to the International Court," President Vladimir Yanukovich told reporters.

"I hope we will have enough wisdom to find a common solution, without the court. I consider the court to be the last resort," Yanukovcih said, speaking at sidelines of CIS summit in the Tajik capital.

A spokesman for Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Friday that any review of Russia's gas contract with Ukraine could become possible only with the merger between state Naftogaz and Russia's gas monopoly Gazprom

Asked by Reuters whether this option was possible, Yanukovich replied: "This issue is not being considered."

Yanukovich also said that Ukraine will not accept any pressures during gas talks as it was "humiliating."

"We will not allow to talk to us in such way... (They) pushed us in the corner, at first, and then started to dictate terms. Today it humiliates not only me, but it humiliates the state, and I can not allow it," he said.

A day before Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said the energy agreement between Kiev and Moscow should be reviewed after restructuring Naftogaz.

Gas giant Gazprom and Naftogaz signed a gas supply deal in 2009 but Ukraine, a top buyer of Russian gas, said prices were too high. In the third quarter price for 1,000 cubic metres of Russian gas was expected at $354 compared with $295 in the preceding quarter.

Azarov said in August that Ukraine should seek cutting imports of Russian gas by two-thirds in coming years.

 

Copyright Reuters, 2011