2 Nov 2009 17:55

Yushchenko insists on reviewing gas contracts with Russia

KYIV. Nov 2 (Interfax) - Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko wants to immediately review gas contracts that were signed with Russia on January 19, 2009, Presidential Press Secretary Iryna Vannykova told a Monday press briefing in Kyiv.

Yushchenko has ordered the government to set an optimum amount of Russian gas, which would be purchased in 2010, she said.

"These contracts must be reviewed to prevent further politicization and artificial exacerbations in gas relations," the presidential press secretary said.

Yushchenko insists it is necessary to optimize gas pricing and transit formulas, with due account of the February 19, 2009 agreements between the Russian and Ukrainian presidents, she said.

Yushchenko also wants Ukraine to adjust the symmetry of liabilities, risks and penalty sanctions to reflect the practice of international gas co-operation and the key role of the Ukrainian gas transportation system in the Eurasian gas pipeline system, she said.

The experience of previous gas contracts has proved a lack of prospects for either party, Vannykova said.

Yushchenko is satisfied with how Naftogaz Ukrainy is preparing, based on its key performance and resource parameters, to meet its obligations to supply gas to Ukrainian consumers and to transit Russian natural gas to Europe, she said.

"At the same time the Ukrainian president is worried that with less than two months now left before the New Year the government has failed to secure formal regulations from Russia for key parameters of our equal co-operation in the gas sector," Vannykova said.

Risks that have risen from the January 19, 2009 contracts are still present for Ukraine, she said.