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KIEV, July 16 (Itar-Tass) - CEO of Russia’s gas giant Gazprom and Ukraine’s gas utility Naftogaz Ukrainy have squared a realistic option of ensuring gas transit to Europe, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Boiko said on Tuesday.
“It is true, the Naftogaz and Gazprom CEOs had a meeting in Sochi. They have reached understanding on all strains in our relations in this sphere, both about the contract, and about transit guarantees. They have agreed that it is necessary to design a model that will ensure stable transit,” Boiko told the Ukrainian television Channel 5. However he did not say how Naftogaz and Gazprom are going to do that.
Earlier, Naftogaz refused to pump gas to its underground storage facilities to ensure gas transit to Europe. Ukrainian Minister of Energy and the Coal Industry Eduard Stavitsky said that Ukraine would keep only 14-16 billion cubic meters of gas in its underground storage facilities. In 2012, the figure was 21 billion cubic meters. Naftogaz insists these facilities are to be filled by Gazprom and its clients.
In the first six months of 2013, Ukraine reduced gas transit to Western Europe by 10.5 percent against the same period in 2012 - to 38.22 cubic meters. In this period, a total of 10.3 billion cubic meters of natural gas was pumped to Ukraine’s gas transport system from Russia, or by 35 percent less than in the same period last year.