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Ukraine seeking for options to buy gas outside Russia

March 15, 2012, 22:56 UTC+3

Nikolai Azarov called Ukraine’s “big advantage” its own underground storage facilities

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KIEV, March 15 (Itar-Tass) —— Ukraine is seeking for opportunities to buy gas from countries other than Russia.

“We are trying to find an alternative way of technical supplies of gas,” Ukraine’s Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov told audience of the First television channel on Thursday.

He called Ukraine’s “big advantage” its own underground storage facilities.

“We can offer to our counterparts very interesting variants of gas purchases. For example, in summer periods, when gas costs rather cheaply. And to sell it when prices go up,” he said adding that Ukraine “rather agreed with Russia on normal prices.”

“But we do not have a different option if our Russian counterparts demonstrate obstinacy or misunderstanding of the situation,” Azarov added.

Earlier, Naftogaz of Ukraine said it would consider an opportunity to buy Russian gas from Germany’s RWE energy concern.

“Our concern plans buying from RWE Russian gas in a so-called reverse order. Here we hope for support from the European Union,” the prime minister said responding to the question whether Kiev considered any other sources of the gas fuel. “This would be cheaper than direct supplies from Russia.”

“Besides, we plan to build on the Black Sea a terminal for liquefied gas,” Azarov said. “Unfortunately, in this case, vessels will have to go along Bosporus at permission from Turkey.”

“Ukraine is buying from Russia much more gas than Germany, and pays for it much more. However, our economy is much weaker than Germany’s one,” he said adding that Naftogaz endured “giant losses.”

Earlier, Azarov said that Ukraine “has highest gas prices in the world” as it buys the blue fuel at the border at the price of 518 dollars per one thousand cubic metres. “Then add transport, duties, and you see absolutely non-competitive price for our industry,” he said on Tuesday during a meeting with foreign businesses in Kiev.

Besides, the prime minister told the television channel that soon the country would announce a tender for development of Ukraine’s deposits of shale gas.

“Leading international companies have confirmed their interest in participating in the competition. I am adamant quite soon we shall develop our own shale deposits,” the prime minister said.

Earlier, TNK-BP claimed it would participate in the tender in Ukraine.

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