Ukraine-Russia phone talks on gas carry no political meaning - President RF

Other News Materials 7 January 2009 21:43 (UTC +04:00)

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko on Wednesday called on Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to end an energy embargo on Ukraine and re-open gas supplies to Europe immediately. The Ukrainian leader in a letter sent to the Kremlin said he was "deeply concerned" at the worsening conflict between the two countries, earthtimes reported.

The Russian natural gas monopolist Gazprom ended all gas deliveries into Ukrainian pipelines by early Wednesday morning. The total cutoff was necessary because Ukraine was diverting gas earmarked for on-shipment to Europe, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday.

Ukraine in fact has siphoned no European gas at all, and since the beginning of 2009 when Russia ended gas deliveries earmarked for Ukraine, Kiev has been supplying Ukrainian gas consumers with fuel pumped only from Ukrainian reserves, Yushchenko's letter claimed in part.

Yushchenko's letter called the Russian decision to halt all gas deliveries into Ukrainian pipelines responsible for "an extremely dangerous and complex situation in Europe."

Russia should re-start gas deliveries to European and Ukrainian consumers immediately, in full pre-embargo volumes, before talks between Kiev and the Kremlin are renewed in Moscow on Thursday, Yushchenko said.

Yushchenko also called for a transparent and apolitical pricing mechanism to regulate the gas trade between Russia and Ukraine in the future.