9 Dec 2009 18:22

Ukraine security body voices suspicion Russia plotting new gas crisis

KYIV. Dec 9 (Interfax) - Ukraine's supreme security body has expressed suspicion that Russia is plotting a new natural gas crisis for the year end, with Ukraine being blamed for it, in a bid to win commercial benefits, "definitively monopolize East-West energy transportation routes, and bring EU policy under control."

"Developments that have followed the gas agreements of January 19, 2009, have given experts, including foreign ones, reasons to speak of a high probability of artificial creation of a new gas crisis with responsibility for it being laid on the Ukrainian side," the National Security and Defense Council said in what was titled "Analytical Note on National Security Threats in the Natural Gas Industry."

"A high probability of a repeat artificial gas crisis is also mentioned in conclusions by American experts that were voiced by Mirek Topolanek, a former Czech premier, at the Fifth Energy Forum in Budapest [on November 15-17]," the note said.

"In an interview with [German radio station] Deutsche Welle [aired on November 25], the chairman of the European Parliament Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, Herbert Reul, expressed a conclusion that EU countries need to be ready for disruptions in gas supplies," it said.

"If anything goes wrong, it is definitely Ukraine alone that will be blamed. The objective of these activities is non-market competition and the Russian side's bid to definitively monopolize East-West energy transportation routes and bring EU policy under control," the note said.

The chief spokesman for Russia's Gazprom , Sergei Kupriyanov, said in a November 25 program on Moscow radio station Ekho Moskvy that a new Russian-Ukrainian gas crisis could not be ruled out.