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KIEV, February 22 (Itar-Tass) —— Naftogaz Ukrainy denied assertions that it has illegally siphoned Russian natural gas intended for European consumers.
“Since the start of 2012, Naftogaz Ukrainy has not taken even one cubic metre of transit gas transported by Gazprom to European countries,” the company said on Wednesday, February 22.
Under the contract, daily gas consumption in Ukraine is not fixed and it determined on a quarterly basis.
Naftogaz Ukrainy also recalled that it had earlier offered help to Gazprom in providing additional gas supplies to European consumers from its underground gas storage facilities, but the Russian company rejected the offer.
Earlier in the day, Gazprom CXEO Alexei Miller told Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that Ukraine has siphoned Russian natural gas intended for Europe in February.
“European consumers requested more Russian gas and Gazprom did everything necessary [to meet the demand] but considerable amounts of gas never reached Europe,” Miller told President Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday, February 22.
“On some days, as much as 40 million cubic metres of gas remained in Ukraine,” he added.
“This damaged Gazprom’s financial standing and reputation,” Miller said.
European consumers of Russian gas asked Gazprom to increase supplies because of abnormally cold weather in early February when the Danube and canals in Vienna became icebound. But the gas supplied by the Russian company did not reach Europe and ended up in Ukraine.
Medvedev instructed Gazprom to look into Ukraine’s siphoning of Russian gas intended for Europe.
“Sort things out with your colleagues within the framework of corporate procedures and civil law,” the president told Miller.
He also instructed Miller to “make it known to the Ukrainian friends why the capacity of the South Stream gas pipeline is being increased and continue the talks on gas cooperation”.