Thu, January 15, 2009
World > Europe > Russia-Ukraine gas row

Medvedev: Russia agrees on gas swap

2009-01-14 20:18:33 GMT2009-01-15 04:18:33 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (L) meets with Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller at Gorki residence near Moscow, Russia, on Jan. 14, 2009 (Xinhua/RIA Novosti/Vladimir Rodionov)

MOSCOW, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Wednesday that Russia will compensate Ukraine if the latter delivers gas to some European countries from its own reserve.

Russia supports the proposal of Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico on the exchange of gas, in which Ukraine will deliver gas to Slovakia from its own underground stores and Russia will compensate to Ukraine the delivered volume of gas, local media quoted Medvedev as saying.

"If Ukrainian partners accept the idea, we are ready to implement it immediately," Interfax cited the head of state as saying during a meeting with Fico.

He also proposed to hold a summit of Russian natural gas consumer countries in Moscow on Saturday to address the gas issues.

Russia cut off gas supplies via Ukraine to Europe on Jan. 7, one week after it halted gas supplies to Ukraine due to failed talks on pricing and terms of fees.

Russian energy giant Gazprom reopened its gas taps to Europe on Tuesday morning under a three-way agreement signed by the European Union (EU), Ukraine and Russia, but no gas reached Europe.

Russia accused Ukraine of blocking the gas flow and the EU also admitted that Ukraine had held up the flow to Europe, while Ukraine argued that Russia's choice of the gas route was technically "unacceptable" as it would require Ukraine to cut domestic consumers out before it could deliver gas to the Balkans.

As much as a quarter of natural gas consumed in Europe is imported from Russia, and 80 percent of it is shipped through Ukraine.

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