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Ukraine Agrees With Gazprom on Ensuring EU-Bound Gas Transit

Ukraine’s NAK Naftogaz Ukrainy and OAO Gazprom have come to a “mutual understanding” on how to ensure the stable transit of natural gas to European customers, according to Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Yuriy Boyko.

A “viable” plan for avoiding transit “problems” during the cold winter months was worked out at a meeting between Naftogaz and Gazprom officials, Boyko said late yesterday in televised remarks on Channel 5.

The meeting was held during Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov’s meeting with Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev in Sochi on July 12.

Russia and Ukraine have been arguing about whether there is sufficient gas stored to ensure transit of the fuel to Europe in the winter. Disputes between the neighbors over prices and volumes have disrupted flows to Europe during freezing temperatures, including for about two weeks in January 2009.

Gazprom, which sends more than half of its gas exports to Europe through Ukraine, is concerned about “serious risks” for transit of Russian gas this winter, Chief Executive Officer Alexey Miller said on June 28.

Ukraine’s 14 billion cubic meters in storage will “easily allow” for stable gas flows to the European Union, Energy Minister Eduard Stavytskyi said on July 3.

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