Gazprom Warns Ukraine: No Contract, No Gas

MOSCOW, Russia -- Russian energy giant Gazprom's Deputy Board Chairman Alexander Medvedev said Friday that his company would not supply Ukraine with natural gas if a contract has not been signed by 2006.

Alexander Medvedev

"No contract, no deliveries," Medvedev said at a press conference in Moscow.

Asked whether Ukraine would be able to satisfy domestic demand by using reserves in its underground storages, Medvedev said the natural gas in those reserves was meant for export and that the reserves did not contain extra amounts of gas for the domestic market.

However, he said Gazprom did not have accurate data on the amount of natural gas being kept in Ukraine's underground facilities.

"We do not have data, but we have made assessments on this score," Medvedev said.

He said Ukraine could afford to pay the price.

Asked what Ukraine would do if the contract was not signed this year, Medvedev said he hoped it would behave in a civilized manner.

Medvedev said that if Ukrainian officials' threat to tap natural gas from the transit pipeline was carried out, Kiev would be stealing gas.

Source: RIA Novosti

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