Saturday, February 11, 2012

Ukraine: Ukraine Wants to Help Russia Facilitate Non-Stop Gas Supply to Europe

SOURCE Worldwide News Ukraine

"We are ready, upon official request from Russia, to grant extra gas to Europe," said Ukraine's Energy Minister Yuriy Boyko. In his interview to CNN, the Ukrainian minister explained that currently Ukraine receives 400 million cubic meters of gas per day on its eastern border instead of the required 500 million due to extremely cold weather in Russia. This caused a drop in the amount of gas Europe received through Ukrainian pipeline.

Minister Boyko stated that in adverse weather conditions it was very important that Russia, Ukraine, and the EU were in touch about the matter and open to cooperation. The press service of the Ministry of Energy and Coal Industry of Ukraine informed: "We [Ukraine] can supply gas [to Europe] from our own gas storing facilities."

On February 6, 2012, the Prime Minister of Ukraine Mykola Azarov informed that Ukraine actually began helping Russia stabilize its gas supply to Europe and Turkey using its stored gas. According to, Ukrainian NJSC Naftogaz is currently supplying the exact amount of gas that was requested by European buyers from Russian Gazprom.

Speaking to CNN, Yuriy Boyko denied claims that Ukraine was siphoning Russian gas for its own needs. He emphasized that Europe did not receive gas because Russia dropped its supply. Formerly, Ukrtransgas stated that Ukraine filled its underground gas storing facilities with enough gas to get the country through the 2011-2012 heating season. Earlier, media outlets in Ukraine and Europe reported that Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia, and Turkey received 30 percent less gas than usual.

At the moment Ukraine seeks to reduce the amount of gas it is importing from Russia. The country officials claim the price is too heavy a burden for the state budget (in 2012 will have to pay almost 27 percent of its estimated budget income for Russian gas).Nonetheless, Ukraine is contractually obligated to buy a certain amount of gas from Russia according to the take-or-pay system, documented in the Ukraine-Russia 2009 gas agreement. Ukraine has already notified its Russian partners about the country's plans to purchase 27 billion cubic meters in 2012 vs. 40 billion in 2011.In response, Russia insisted that the unconsumed gas would have to be paid for nonetheless.